Cash For Clunkers Stimulus | Too Little For Too Few?

Will your vehicle hit the $4,500 jackpot?


Does the math for the “Cash for Clunkers” stimulus program actually add up? (Photos:

In principle, it sounds great. People have the opportunity to trade in their older, less fuel-efficient cars for vouchers of up to $4,500. These vouchers are usable on new vehicles that are more fuel efficient than the “clunkers” being traded in. President Obama’s point here is at least three-fold: first of all, putting more fuel-efficient vehicles on the roads to lessen the constant need to refill the tank; second, getting newer vehicles with higher emissions standards out there will help the environment; finally, it will help more people afford better vehicles.

However, there are serious doubts as to whether the Cash for Clunkers stimulus will do enough for enough people. For many, they’d be better off looking into a payday loan or cash advance if they help with a down payment.

What are the qualifications? reports that while the Cash for Clunkers stimulus could be what you’re looking for, it pays to do your homework first. That $1 billion program Congress and the president have passed on to us sounds great, but as notes, “the math may not match some of the sales pitches and public expectations vs. what qualifies.”

OK, so what does qualify for the Cash for Clunkers stimulus program? Here you go, in case you’ve been wondering. In order to be eligible for a rebate for your vehicle, the car you’re trading in must be of the year 1984 or later. I know, there are plenty of cars older than that out there. I suppose the president had to draw the line somewhere. In addition to the year, the vehicle must be registered and have been in use for at least one year. To ensure that what you’re trading in is indeed a clunker, the miles per gallon for your trade-in hunk of metal must be 18 mpg or less for combined city and highway driving. This is known as combined mpg.

As long as the new vehicle you want costs less than $45,000 and gets at least 22 mpg, your voucher could be worth up to $3,500. But if the new car improves the mpg you were getting from the old car by 10 mpg or more, you hit the jackpot! That’s a $4,500 voucher, and it’s a bit more difficult to come by, as you might expect.

Is it enough?

Please make sure that before you attempt to trade in your old rust-bucket, the vehicle in question is in fact drivable. If it isn’t, the Cash for Clunkers stimulus program isn’t what you need. Econo Wrecking or something similar would be the party to call… or Ghostbusters. Luckily, “drivable” doesn’t necessarily mean that the vehicle has to be in perfect running condition. For more info on Cash for Clunkers stimulus qualification, visit the Car Deal Experts.

Does your clunker qualify for the program? Great! But understand that if you’re using this government program, you have to trade it in for a new car that qualifies for the program. New cars are expensive. I don’t know about you, but for me, chopping $4,500 off the cost of a new car certainly helps, but it doesn’t make the price much more accessible. There are plenty of people out there during this recession who could use a new car to get around, but don’t have the money to do it, Cash for Clunkers stimulus or not.

Oh, and if you need quick cash for a down payment, use a payday loan or cash advance. You won’t be scammed if you apply here with us! In fact, what you will find is that the experience of applying for a payday loan takes much less time and gives you much less hassle than buying a car would any day.

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