• Jun 17th 2009 at 10:27AM
  • 31
After the House and Senate agreed on the terms of a cut-down version of the Cash for Clunkers legislation, it passed the house on Tuesday by a narrow margin (226-202) after being added as a supplemental appropriations bill to continue funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Per the previous agreement, the new bill only contains $1 billion for the program, about a quarter of what was originally proposed, and will only extend through the 2010 fiscal year, ending on September 30.

The $3,500 and $4,500 vouchers for consumers remain intact, along with the 18 mpg provision, and there's a movement underfoot to get the legislation prolonged passed the 2010 fiscal year. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill later today and if all goes well, it should land on the President's desk this week.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req. | Image: Theo Heimann/Getty]


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  • 31 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      My big question is:

      Do consumers receive the voucher on top of the trade-in value of their current vehicle? Not in place of...

      For instance - I trade in a 6 year old SUV that gets 15mpg. The SUV is still worth $15,000 as a trade-in. Would I still be eligible to get a voucher for $3,500+ on top of being able to use the trade-in value to help offset the purchase of my next (higher mpg) vehicle?
        • 6 Years Ago
        why would you go though, from paying nothing a month with your old car which was paid off long ago, to $250 a month for 5 years. No matter how bad the mileage is, or even the service costs, its not going to be adding $250 a month, every month, over a new car.

        Still, I dont disagree that getting $4500 worth of discount for a car that might be worth a few hundred $ is excellent, but who is in the market for taking on a car loan for the sake of fuel economy these days...
        • 6 Years Ago
        "How far will $4,500 go towards a new more fuel efficient car if the average consumer can afford to maintain a $350/month car note."

        It seems to me it would go a decent way toward that goal. You could get a pretty decent small car (say a Civic, Corolla, Elantra, Focus) for $18,000 easily. $4500 is 25% of that vehicle's cost, that's pretty significant. And most car have rebates at the moment which would drive the cost down even more.

        To make up an example, $18,000 car minus $1000 rebate minus $4500 cash for clunkers equals $12,500 to be financed. Let's assume you finance for 60 months at 5%, your monthly payment would be $250 a month, not $350.

        $250 a month is not an inconsequential amount of money to be sure, but it's within the range of a lot of potential car buyers I'd guess.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Cleaner...
        I don't mind making a car payment when my 93 v6 camry is on it's last legs and ready for the scrapyard anyway. I haven't made payments on it in 11 years and I won't mind taking up those reins again. The fact that I was going to get a car anyway, an extra $4500 on top of the $5000 I was already going to put down is even more reason. I'm the type that will.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @modena360:

        You're right. I read another article about the new Bill that indicates that no trade-in value would be possible if qualifying for the govt voucher.
        • 6 Years Ago
        i'm pretty sure you don't get a voucher on top of your trade in value. the car that you trade in is turned in scrap. therefore, it no longer has any value.

        this program is only worth utilizing if the value of your trade in is way below the voucher amount.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm not a fan of this type of legislation, but I'd prefer spending money here than spending money invading other countries, policing the world, "spreading democracy," and all that other BS. That said, I was planning on taking advantage of it if I could. I'm in the market for a new car this year, since my daily driver is an old BMW I picked up cheap and is definitely worth less than the voucher.

      However, between the down economy and the fact that my wife and I are tightening up to buy a house soon, I'll likely just sell the BMW and buy another cheap used car.

      While this is a good deal for car buyers, I think they are drastically overestimating it's value. I think most people driving a car that qualifies for this program are going to be used to driving old cars without payments and won't be so willing to buy a new car. And a lot of people driving a truck that qualifies under this program would probably do better to sell the truck if it's in good shape that use the voucher.

      If the program didn't take away your trade-in value, allowed you to buy a used car, or at least mandated that cars not be scrapped, but instead just mandated they be given a non-street legal title, I'd be in far more likely to take advantage of it.
      -N
        • 6 Years Ago
        Neil,
        I'm used to driving an old car (93 camry v6) and not having payments (in 11 years) and I don't mind one bit making payments on a new car with the assistance of this piece of legislation. I was already going to put down $5K. Now, I get to put down $9500...on a Prius, which is what, about half the total cost of the car. I don't mind...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder if someone would publish the list of qualifying vehicles.
        • 6 Years Ago

        Yes, check Consumer Reports...

        "Cadillacs are *solid* candidates..." on their list, as well as a bunch of other American trucks and SUVs. Bwahahaha...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I get the point, but by the time its done, and like all these things, red tape will take the budget way past the anticipated $1B.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The dancing idiot and his henchmen in Washington just spend, spend, spend. Meanwhile, the Chinese continue to sell our Treasury bonds because of fear of the American dollar losing its value, because we are spending too much! This of course leads to our dollar losing its value globally, as well as locally.

        Ever heard of the Wiemar Republic that controlled Germany between the first and second World War? They tried to spend their way out of the recession caused by Germany's loss during WWI. It didn't work. Soon people where seen taking wheel barrels full of money to by a loaf of bread because of the dramatic rise in inflation.

        How much longer folks before we all are living this way?
      • 6 Years Ago
      How does the 2010 fiscal year END in 2009? I can understand the 2010 fiscal year STARTING in 2009, but ending? That doesn't make much sense.
        • 6 Years Ago
        when was the last time the government did anything that would make sense
      • 6 Years Ago
      More waste of our Tax dollars!! Take this money and Drill for Oil here!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am sure the mob is salivating the prospect of getting into getting clunkers exchanged for new cars but rather than scrapping the clunker, they will ship it to Mexico and get a mob-affiliated crusher to say that the car was disposed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well it looks like just one more way the govt. took what was a pretty good idea and made a huge bureaucratic ball of hassle, rules and regulations out of it. Bravo!
      • 6 Years Ago
      One of the most depressing things about this bill is that the car I have to trade in is trashed. A '95 Miata with 250k on the clock that has no straight body panel and poor compression. It was my autocross beater and it's at the point of falling to pieces.

      Unfortunately it gets better than 18 MPG which means that I can't trade it in and get $3500 toward the car I have on order, a Solstice GXP. For an idea of how stupid this bill is, consider that someone in another forum was talking about how excited they were to be able to get $3500 off the exact same car by trading in their old SUV. We'd be buying the same car. It'd have the same enviromental and economy stimulating impact for us each to buy one. However, somehow, because my beater is a Miata and his is a truck, he deserves to get $3500 off and I don't.

      Only a government with Democrats running both the executive and legislative branches with essentially no functioning opposition, able to pass whatever they want, could possibly come up with something this idiotic.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I whole heartily agree............... i can honestly see no benefits coming from this bill. Besides, maintaining an older car..... (even if it only gets 12 mpg), is better for the environment than all the energy and pollution that goes into building a new one to replace it
        • 6 Years Ago
        @trax You've missed my original point. This does a miserable job of generating new car sales when it doesn't encourage me to buy a new car (because my Miata's fuel economy is too high) but it does encourage my neighbor to buy the exact same car (because his SUV gets poor fuel economy.) Is this about the environment? If so, why is 22 MPG good enough for the credit? Is it about the economy? If so why is it more helpful for my neighbor to buy a Solstice than it is for me?

        I already placed my order. It sucks. I pay enough in taxes. It would have been nice to be able to get some of them back, personally. Instead I'll get to get taxed more to help give my neighbor a cookie for making the exact same purchase I just made.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ johncuyle

        Just because it doesn't help YOU doesn't mean it won't help others. It's not perfect and obviously some people are going to get left out, but, it will help. Are they more deserving than you? Who's to say this person deserves it more than another...you? To say it's not going to generate more sales because it isn't going to help YOU is ridiculous. Yes, it's going to generate more sales and that entire $1 billion is probably going to get used up, regardless if it helps YOU or it doesn't. One of the reasons for the bill is to get older models/clunkers off the road for a newer more efficient car. Take me for example...I'm trading in an old car that gets around 16mpg for a 2010 Prius that gets 50mpg (forget about 22mpg). If your neighbor gets rid of his suv for something more efficient, good for him. He and I both will be obtaining a monthly payment for 36-60 months. Meaning, more dollars out of our pockets and into the economy. Again, regardless if the bill affects you, or even me (although it is going to help me, if I get a voucher), it's going to accomplish both goals...helping the economy and the environment. If it helps one more than the other, or both even minimally, then mission accomplished.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ stoltzbt
        You fail to realize that the more important reason for this bill is to generate car sales. There is a trade off, I for one, am getting rid of my old heap for a newer more efficient car, but conversely, the economy gets my dollars. And I'm sure 99% of the people with "clunkers" aren't thinking of keeping theirs for the sake of minimizing auto manufacturer's outputs. I'm sure for the people that would take advantage of this situation but can't because they can't afford the payments, they would if they could.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Got a late 90s Mercury sedan right now, think is a complete clunker. Government's EPA rates say it gets a combined 20 MPG. Ha, I'm lucky when it gets 15 mpg. CEL issues galore, but it runs, and right now there is no incentive to replace it. If I was eligible for the $4500, I'd strongly look into a 2010 Honda Insight. Excellent gas mileage, looks like the vehicle size is comparable to the current sedan, and the $4500 would knock it down to under $15K after price negotiations.

      Had this bill applied to me, it help me dump a horrible pollution making, fuel guzzling clunker for a vehicle that the government's EPA has rated to get a combined 41 MPG. My fuel consumption would be half of what I use now.

      Too bad.
        • 6 Years Ago
        During Edmunds.com full road test, their observed mpg for their testing was a whooping 51.5 MPG. More than 3 times what I am observing with my current clunker, which this bill won't cover.
      • 6 Years Ago
      DOA in the Senate.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Too bad my Neon gets decent gas mileage.
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