CASH FOR CLUNKERS - Is it useful?

Stimulus Package and plans are being talked about everywhere. The following three rebates, federal tax credits or incentives (whatever you call them) in economic stimulus plan are among the most important ones.
Housing Stimulus ($8000 tax credit for first time home buyers)
Auto Stimulus (Sales tax deduction for purchasing new cars under $49500).
Cash for Clunkers (A new car incentives program where you can get $3500 or $4500 for your old junk car).

This is in no way a complete list of all stimulus and federal tax credits. There is a lot more. The Solar tax credit, other renewable energy tax credits, tax credits for installing new efficient doors and windows, Making work Pay stimlulus, Cobra Stimulus, and lots of others. And moreover, we can already hear hints (or rumors?) of a second stimulus plan.

Is Cash for Clunkers really useful ?
Don't misunderstand me here when I use the word 'useful'. Of course the Cash for Clunkers is awesome if you are planning to buy a new car. This is a program where new car buyers can get either $3500 or $4500 for their old junk car (also called as clunkers). Yes, doesn't matter how old that car is or how much worth it is. Even if it is worth $100 or say even if it worth only weight of its scrap metal, you can get $4500 Cash for Clunkers cash rebate / discount voucher. Isn't that fantastic? Let me give you a quick overlook of the details involved in Cash for Clunkers program.

Cash for Clunkers Details
Does your Old Car qualify? If you have a Old Car made after 1984 and which has a fuel economy rate or mileage of at most 18 mpg (miles per gallon), your Old car is eligible for Cash for Clunkers cash incentive. You can find the fuel economy rating of your car on
Does your New Car qualify? In order to get the benefit of Cash for Clunkers, the New Car you purchase must cost at most $45,000 and must have a fuel economy rating of at least 22 mpg (miles per gallon).
How much Cash for your Clunkers? If both your Old car and New car qualify you can trade your clunkers for $3500. If it happens that your Clunkers is really really junk, i.e. to be precise the fuel economy rating of your new car is 10mpg more than that of your Old car, you get even more $4500.

Back to the debate, is Cash for Clunkers really useful?....
By useful here, I mean useful for the economy. There are various points of debate here. First of all the requirement of new car having 22mpg could have been raised in order to ensure that only the most fuel efficient cars are encouraged. 22mpg - Most of new cars (even some SUVs?) would fall under this category. Moreover, would this program lead to abuse? Since Cash for Clunkers can be used in addition to Auto Stimulus and Hybrid Car Tax Credits, this is perhaps the best time to buy car by using government incentives provided at the cost of taxpayers money. I would love to hear Opinion from the readers of this blog. Please share your opinion in a comment.

Federal Tax Breaks, IRS Tax Credits, Tax Rebates in 2009 Economic Stimulus Package that maybe of interest to you

  • Cash for Clunkers - Is it Useful?
  • Will there be a Second Stimulus Plan in 2009 or 2010?
  • 2009 Obama Stimulus Package details explained.
  • New Car Purchase Auto Stimulus details explained- Excise and Sales Tax deduction for new purchase of new vehicles.
  • Cars- Cash for Clunkers - Car tax credit when you trade your old fuel inefficient car for a new one and get a rebate of $3500 or $4500.
  • $8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit details- 2009 Housing Stimulus Bill in Economic Plan proposed by Obama.
  • $800 Making work pay tax credit stimulus- details explained ($400 working tax credit for individuals and $800 tax credit for married taxpayers).
  • $250 Social Security Stimulus Check in 2009 Economic Stimulus Package.
  • 2009 Cobra Stimulus Package 65% Reduction in Cobra Health Insurance Premium for qualifying individuals.
  • 2009 Stimulus Checks? Economic Stimulus Payment
  • $1000 Child Tax Credit, Dependent Tax Credit 2009 extension.

  • Jul 14, 2009


    Ric July 14, 2009 at 3:18 PM  

    Personally for me, I love Cash for Clunkers. This economy has beaten the S### out of my family income and stimulus like cash for clunkers is especially useful when it comes at a time when I have no option but to replace my inefficient and old car.

    Anonymous July 14, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

    I don't approve of Cash for Clunkers as much as I don't approve of all these government bailout and stimulus. Now they want to provide incentives to new car buyers in order to push the auto industry. What about people like me who just bought a car before these incentives and cash for clunkers was announced? We get nothing because we got the timing right? WTF !

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