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Should Congress add funding to Cash for Clunkers?

As you might have heard, the federal government’s Cash for Clunkers program has run out of money-- mere days after getting launched. It’s proven far more successful than legislators anticipated.

The program is designed to get older, lower efficiency cars off the road. You can get details right here.

Should the program be renewed? Should the terms be changed? What do you think? We’d like to hear your thoughts.

My initial concern with the Cash for Clunkers program is that it may help solve one problem by getting older low efficiency cars off the road, but may add to consumer debt by encouraging people to take out loans for new cars that they may or may not be able to afford.

However, I guess the program did help dealers reduce inventories and maybe put people back to work making more new cars, so maybe it does have value.

The program should allow us to ORDER a new vehicle as well. Inking the deal within the time frame would allow it.

The program should allow the purchase of other year cars ( used, '08 '07 etc )which meet the fuel efficiency standards.

The program should allow even older vehicles. ( I have a 79 in my back yard )

Agree with Ranck; Should be able to trade for a qualifying mpg GAIN and participate in the program.
( friend has 99 Mitsubishi Galant which , if you saw it, would definitely be called a clunker. But the specified mpg is too high for the current program rules. )

Yes they should continue to fund it. It is selling cars, which for local economies also means generates sales tax, which supports local services.
However, they should hire more people, even temporarily, to get the data into the website. My vehicle is still not listed on the site so no way to know if it might qualify. If the basic info is missing and at the dealer end they can’t handle the load of deal applications, problems are likely to multiply.

Well, I’m not sure it ought to be funded further. If it is, I’d like to see it include any deal where the buyer gets a 10 MPG better vehicle. For example, my wife’s old XT6 is rated as 19 MPG combined. Just misses the 18 MPG cutoff. I could easily get a new car with better than 30 MPG combined for her and it would definitely save some fuel and get an old clunker off the streets.

Oh yeah, I see the site took down the meter showing how much money was left in the program. I find it odd that on 7/30 at 10AM they had $779 Million dollars left, but on 7/31 they have none. Somebody wasn’t keeping track very well.

There should not be a program encouraging people to use more credit. Isn’t the overuse of credit just what got us in trouble?

I am all for living within your means and if this means paying cash,well it worked for GranDad. there is nothing wrong with saving up and not taking loans.

What about a program that helps people get out of real clunkers and into something safer and more reliable? Destroying all these perfectly good cars doesn’t make sense when people need better transportation but don’t want a car loan.

Stop with the credit madness,we are not out of the woods yet and we should never return to the days of spending like there was no tomorrow.

No. Let the money run out. The Feds have already spent trillions of dollars we don’t have that we’ll never be able to pay back. Stop spending money we don’t have!

That’s my final word.

YES!!! De-Bug the program a little and provide the $4 billion that was authorized in the original bill! Trucks other than 4 cylinder models should NOT be included. This is a win-win program. Concerns about credit buying are unfounded as new credit rules make it impossible for unqualified buyers to get a new car loan. This gets Stimulus money out on Main Street where it belongs.

This is CHUMP CHANGE compared to the $185 Billion GIVEN to AIG corporation…

The C4C program is encouraging low and middle income people, those most likely to be driving older cars already paid for, to commit to a monthly car payment many of them can’t afford. So in a time of economic difficulty the govt. is dangling a lure in front of people who, a year from now, may well have one more financial problem in their lives.

I checked with my bank. They said I don’t have any more money to bail out the automobile industry with.

I checked with my lawyer friend. He said that using tax dollars to bail out private industry is of questionable constitutionality.

I checked with my other friend the economics instructor. He said this is definitely not free market capitalism.

I checked with a civics instructor. He said this type of activity is definitely not what the founding fathers delineated as among the responsibilities or authorities of the Executive Branch.

My answer is no. It should not be renewed.

I don’t think so. They allotted a certain amount of money and said when the money ran out, the program would be over.

If the car companies want to keep these rebates flowing, let them fund them.

the ‘clunkers’ program was a bad idea from the start. The idea is to trade in a car, and get cash. we already have that, its called a trade in. what do the dealers do with these cars? destroy them. running, useable cars, being crushed just to be “green”.
destroying cars that could be used for parts is just ignorant. the rule of inflation applies here. if they were to keep this program going, people would get hurt. less parts = higher part prices = nobody pays to fix their cars = the shop goes under. at the same time making it impossible for lower class America to own a car. an alternative would be to donate the car to help the less fortunate, who may need a set of wheels to support a job. what the government calls a “clunker”, We around here call it a car we can afford.

Lots of ignorance here…Congress provided $4 billion to fund the program. Only $1 billion has been spent. The “clunkers” are not “destroyed”, just the gas-hog engines. Why ASSUME these cars are being purchased by people who can not afford them??

Again, if they can give AIG $185 Billion, they can give Joe Sixpack $4 billion…

I support you totally roadrunner!

YES! THIS is what they SHOULD be doing. Rather than funding huge construction projects that are rife with corruption, leaking money right and left, a program like this helps so many people:

  1. car owner gets new car- more fuel efficient - saves money on gas, has more to spend on other stuff.
  2. dealer gets a sale - salesperson, office staff keep jobs, make more money
  3. manufacturer gets a sale - can make more cars, keep jobs, order from suppliers
  4. suppliers - keep jobs, don’t go bankrupt, keep paying taxes
  5. Citys/Towns - get taxes, registration fees,
  6. insurance agents - make a little more from upgrading policies of clunkers to include newer car, collision, etc.
  7. banks - some of these people will take out car loans, putting money into banks

Show me how those bank bailouts got so much money into so many pockets. It’s this kind of thing that will kick-start the economy! If we can accomplish some environmental goals with it, so much the better.

I also disagree with the $185B they gave AIG. But that’s another thread.

Where exactly is this money supposed to come from? Its that the purpose of our paying taxes?

Hey, I have an idea! Lets solve this problem the same way we propose to solve healthcare. Let’s pass a law requiring everyone to buy a new car whether or not they can afford it and toss GM into the “pool” of providers.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.


I agree with you completely. I do have a real bias against banks and lending institutions, and I think that they will be the ones to profit on the interest generated by the loans.

I ran clunkers, probably like the ones the clunker bill is destroying when I didn’t have a lot of money to spend. I kept the old cars going with used parts. I drove old cars to keep from borrowing money from a bank and paying interest.

Not borrowing money did work against me once. My wife and I had finished our graduate degrees, both of us had secure jobs, and had purchased a choice 5 acre plot on which we wanted to build a house. I wanted to use the deed to the land as the down payment. The savings and loan asked me where I had established credit. I did have an AMOCO card with which I had purchased gasoline and had always paid the monthly statement on time. That wasn’t good enough. I showed them that I had bought some furniture from a local store on a “90 days same as cash” arrangement. The proprietor had me do this as I was young and he thought I might want to establish credit. I offered this to the S & L. That wasn’t good enough either. The loan officer then asked, “Where did you finance your car?” I replied, “I didn’t finance my car–I own it outright”. He then asked me what kind of car I drove. “1965 Rambler”, I replied. "Why do you drive an old car like that?’ he asked. (The Rambler was 7 years old at the time.) “So I won’t have to borrow money from people like you!” I shot back. I went on to say that if the fact that we both had secure jobs, I didn’t borrow money for purchases, and if I defaulted the S & L would have the land along with the house, I didn’t want to use their money. I told them that I would save until I could have a foundation poured. I would then save until I could have the house framed and enclosed. I said that from that point I would finish the house room by room as I got the money. I could do my own electrical work, plumbing, and drywall. As I started to walk out, the loan officer got his superior and they talked over the situation and I got the loan.

I guess the Cash for Clunkers" program is helping to move cars. However, I think that it may hurt people in the situation I was in early in my life who don’t want to borrow money and depend on the clunkers and particularly the used parts they supply. The real clunkers will fade off the roads anyway.

A friend of mine who had been in Singapore said that its government would not license a car more than ten years old. This would certainly keep old cars off the streets.

I think my state will not allow a school bus to be used if it is more than 10 years old (this was the law once–it may have been changed). It seemed to me that the condition of the bus would be more important than the age. Right after WW II we rode a school bus that had been condemned by the state, but new buses weren’t available. It was a real disappointment when we finally rode a newer school bus. The newer bus never broke down on the way to school as the old one did.

This programs rewards those that drove, and owned dirty gas hogs by giving them $4500 for there heap of crap… What about those responsible people that have old fuel efficient vehicle? Maybe they would like to replace there old car with another new fuel efficient car. And for being responsible in the past shouldn’t they be eligible too for the $4500?