• Aug 26th 2009 at 7:56PM
  • 45
C.A.R.S. ended Monday night and the numbers are in. At first blush, things look positive.

First, 690,114 vouchers were submitted asking for $2.877 billion (just under the program's $3 billion limit). There was also $100 million used for administration costs (as Autoblog calculates, about $144 for every claim processed) and there is $23 million or so left over. Flash analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers says the program boosted economic growth in the 3Q by 4/10ths of a percent and created or saved 42,000 jobs that still remain, at least for the near future.

How did the overall fuel economy change because of the new 700,000 vehicles on the road? Only two of the top 10 vehicles purchased were from the Big Three – the Ford Focus FWD came in fourth and the Ford Escape FWD was tenth – while the Toyota Prius was seventh. In fact, the Big Three got less of a boost from Cash For Clunkers than would be expected given their market share. Only 38.6 percent of the vehicles sold through C.A.R.S. were Ford, GM or Chrysler models but their market share through July this year was 45.3 percent.

The top three vehicles sold using C.A.R.S. were the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Toyota Camry. As for the vehicles being clunked, every single one of the top ten were big honkers from the Big Three: Explorers, F-150s, Blazers, etc. This resulted in an overall fuel economy increase of 58 percent. The clunkers averaged 15.8 mpg; the new vehicles averaged 24.9 mpg. You can find out detailed numbers, including rebate requests by state, after the jump.

The next big question: how will auto sales fare in September?

[Source: Detroit News, Automotive News (subs req'd), Michigan Radio, Autoblog]
Photo by dno1967. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

C.A.R.S. Program Statistics

Dealer Transactions

Number Submitted: 690,114
Dollar Value: $2,877.9M

Top 10 New Vehicles Purchased

1. Toyota Corolla
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Camry
4. Ford Focus FWD
5. Hyundai Elantra
6. Nissan Versa
7. Toyota Prius
8. Honda Accord
9. Honda Fit
10. Ford Escape FWD

New Vehicles Manufacturers

Toyota 19.4%
General Motors 17.6%
Ford 14.4%
Honda 13.0%
Nissan 8.7%
Hyundai 7.2%
Chrysler 6.6%
Kia 4.3%
Subaru 2.5%
Mazda 2.4%
Volkswagen 2.0%
Suzuki 0.6%
Mitsubishi 0.5%
MINI 0.4%
Smart 0.2%
Volvo 0.1%
All Other <0.1%

Top 10 Trade-in Vehicles

1. Ford Explorer 4WD
2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
4. Ford Explorer 2WD
5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD
6. Jeep Cherokee 4WD
7. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD
8. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD
9. Ford F150 Pickup 4WD
10. Ford Windstar FWD Van

Vehicles Purchased by Category

Passenger Cars: 404,046
Category 1 Truck: 231,651
Category 2 Truck: 46,836
Category 3 Truck: 2,408

Vehicle Trade-in by Category

Passenger Cars: 109,380
Category 1 Truck: 450,778
Category 2 Truck: 116,909
Category 3 Truck: 8,134

84% of trade-ins under the program are trucks, and 59% of new vehicles purchased are cars. The program worked far better than anyone anticipated at moving consumers out of old, dirty trucks and SUVs and into new more fuel-efficient cars.

Average Fuel Economy

New vehicles Mileage: 24.9 MPG
Trade-in Mileage: 15.8 MPG

Overall increase: 9.2 MPG, or a 58% improvement

Cars purchased under the program are, on average, 19% above the average fuel economy of all new cars currently available, and 59% above the average fuel economy of cars that were traded in. This means the program raised the average fuel economy of the fleet, while getting the dirtiest and most polluting vehicles off the road.

Requested Voucher Dollar Amount by State:























































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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      You don't need a voucher, dealers will apply a credit at purchase

      • 6 Years Ago
      Instead of going to "americanthinker.com" for tax information on a government program, a better idea is to go directly to the actual government agency that is running the program.

      From the www.cars.gov faq page:

      Is the credit subject to being taxed as income to the consumers that participate in the program?

      NO. The CARS Act expressly provides that the credit is not income for the consumer.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Has anyone calculated the net cost per mpg increase of this whole project? We would need the average mpg of all the vehicles turned in I guess... even then the math would be pretty shaky, but hey, it would probably be as good as the math that got us here. ;)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, they say the average turn-in was 15.8 mpg (actually, they say that right there in the second paragraph... low marks for reading comprehension my friend).

        690,114 * (24.9 - 15.8) = 1.65 billion mpg
        total cost $2.977 billion
        cost per mpg (whatever that means) $1.80.

        A more meaningful metric is (as usual) flipping the number over.
        24.9mpg = 9.4 l / 100k
        15.8 mpg = 14.9 l / 100k

        Fuel savings of 5.5 l / 100k
        Time 690,114 vehicles for $2.977 billion = about $0.001 per liter/100km.

        Or looking at annual vehicle use and fuel imports
        5.5 * 690,114 / $2.977 billion * 20,000 km/year = ~$0.25

        We taxpayers paid $0.25 to avoid importing 1 l of gas EACH YEAR, or we paid a bit less than a dollar to avoid importing 1 gallon EACH YEAR. And that is a non-recurring cost.

        That seems like a pretty good deal to me.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey the program worked for people like me. I traded in my 17MPG (real world 11MPG) Jeep Wrangler in for a 43MPG Honda Insight.

      Better gas mile and it is safer (Wranglers have a tendency to roll). My insurance even went down $200/year.

      And the best bonus....I live in D.C. which has no taxes on hybrid vehicles.

      The government killed my other vehicle. But many will benefit from its death.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Wrangler was purchased because in the early 1990s the government told us there was no Global Warming. Plus gas was cheap and free flowing. And I lived in Colorado, an area of the country where several feet of snow in a few hours is common.

        The bad economy caused me to take a job in D.C. Now I can repent for my gas guzzling ways.

        There is another side-effect of the Cash for Clunkers program: decrease in road rage. SUV owners tend to be aggressive. Hybrid owners tend to be more relaxed. The constant blue-green LED lights on my Honda Insight that tell me to be more "green" are actually reducing my road rage.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Good, because we're all helping to pay for it.

        No offense, Will, but you left out the interesting part of the story: what made you buy the Wrangler in the first place.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Rick, you really need to find more reliable sources. The CARS rebate is not taxable to the car buyer as expressly provided in the federal statute. See these sites for confirmation:


      CARS Act § 1302(h)(2): FOR PURPOSES OF TAXATION- A voucher issued under the program or any payment made for such a voucher pursuant to subsection (a)(3) [the CARS program] shall not be considered as gross income of the purchaser of a vehicle for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

      • 6 Years Ago
      The German version of Cash For Clunkers...probably something along the lines of "Lösen Sie Für ScheiÃ┬če ein"...LOL...was very successful.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Will be interesting to see what impact it made on safety, health care etc in a few years given that the new cars are safer than the old ones.

      Same might be true for respiratory injuries? Given that the new cars have cleaner exhaust fumes than the old ones. But it much more difficult to calculate...

      I hope it will save a couple of people from serious injury and death. If so, it would be a success in my mind...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I just cashed in my 17mpg EPA rated (but only in my dreams) Chrysler POS van and bought an EPA rated 50 mpg Prius. I wasn't planning on buying a new car until the C4C hit.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ... and it turns out the $4500. is taxable income ...... I find it quite amusing that that part has been kept so quiet.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Cash for Refrigerators' Debuts in Fall. Really."


        "So, what do you do when you have a poorly-conceived and ill-managed project winding down (Clunkers expires at 8 p.m. eastern on August 24)? Kick off another one, even more poorly thought out, and gloss it with an equally catchy name: Cash for Refrigerators. Beginning in the fall, consumers will have access - through existing state-level energy efficiency incentive programs - $300 million in stimulus funds made available as rebates for energy efficient appliances."

        Progressivism aka Crony Capitalism masquerading as the free market is a mental disorder. Thing swould be much better had the maket been truly free, but that has NOT been the case since the Woodrow Wilson breathed life into the Federal Reserve monster in 1913.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It is NOT taxable income to the car buyers. It is only income to the dealerships. Which makes complete sense.

        Without the program they would have sold a $24,000 dollar Jetta TDI, and reported that entire amount as income on their taxes (minus expenses, of course).

        With the program, they sell the Jetta TDI and get $19,500 + $4,500 from C4C for a total of $24,000 dollars in income. Which they will report as income (minus expenses) just like any other sale they make.

        Do you think the Dealerships should get a double-dip??

        Do you think they should get sales in their first dip, and then a tax DEDUCTION on top of that in their second dip?? Why should the car industry get an additional 2.88 Billion in tax deductions ON TOP of the 3 billion we already spent?
        • 6 Years Ago
        actually taxable income for the car buyer - as reported here http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/08/turns_out_that_the_4500_cash_f.html
        • 6 Years Ago
        well okay - but I wasn't just quoting some right wing blog - I was quoting a government official which I thought was safe enough - County Treasurer Pam Nelson

        It also appeared in some normally dependable newspapers.

        At any rate. This plan was a strange little money spending idea. Wonder whats next.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Rick, your source is spreading disinformation. Now YOU are spreading disinformation.

        The rebates will NOT be "taxed as regular income" like your source claims. Buyers will NOT have a "healthy tax bill next year" like your source claims. It is pure idoicy. It is yet another right-wing disinformation campaign.

        As far as sales tax goes, every single penny paid this year in sales tax on car purchases is TAX DEDUCTABLE on your federal income taxes. So if your state requires you to pay something like 10% state sales tax on $4500 of a $25000 car purchase (total taxes = $2,500, of which only $450 would be on the rebate. IF you are in a 32% tax bracket, you will get back around $800 dollars of all the sales tax you pay. Or a NET tax rebate of $350 dollars. So enough of the whining already!!!

        Try actually knowing something about what you are talking about, instead of just cut and pasting some crap from some right-wing blog.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That article might be specific to South Dakota and I think they are referring to vehicle registration taxes and not income tax. Here in California when we buy a car (new or used) we pay a tax based on the sales price when we register the car. Sounds like in South Dakota they are counting that $4500 towards the sales price and taxing it.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Starting July 24 2009 consumers who would like to purchase a new car trading off their old gas guzzlers can use
      the Cash For Clunkers program voucher.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I reckon they should offer $10,000 on interest free loan for every new car which exceeds 50mpg, and / or $5,000 per 10 mile all electric range.

      You could pay back the loan with the money you saved on gas and it would mean that the initial higher price of a future PHEV-10/20 would be covered.
      • 6 Years Ago
      and how many of the new cars purchased were alternative fuel vehicles? any NEVs?
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