Edmunds.com Provides List of Vehicles Eligible for "Cash for Clunkers" Rebate

Edmunds.com Provides List of Vehicles Eligible for "Cash for Clunkers" Rebate


Edmunds.com Provides List of Vehicles Eligible for "Cash for Clunkers" Rebate

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — June 11, 2009 — Now that "Cash for Clunkers" has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, it is likely to be made into law by the end of the summer. Wondering if you would qualify to participate? Keep in mind that:

  • It will offer no more than $4,500 to new car buyers.
  • It will require the trade-in vehicle to be crushed (which means that owners will not collect any trade-in value.)
  • Cars to be scrapped would have to have EPA combined fuel economy ratings of 18 miles per gallon or less, and the new vehicle purchased must earn better mileage.
  • The participant must have owned the "clunker" for one year.

"If you can get more than $4,500 for your vehicle, you're better off selling it or trading it in without taking advantage of the Cash for Clunkers rebate," stated Edmunds.com Editor In Chief Karl Brauer, who addresses this topic on his blog, Karl on Cars.

Edmunds.com has compiled a list of "clunkers" whose owners would benefit from pursuing the rebate. Here are some examples of eligible vehicles:

Year Model Combined EPA miles per gallon rating True Market Value® Trade-In Price
1996 Honda Passport 15 $1,227
1997 Lincoln Continental 18 $1,179
1998 Chevrolet Silverado 14 $3,378
1995 Audi A6 18 $1,261
1996 Toyota Land Cruiser 13 $4,042

"This legislation attempts to offer a benefit for the environment and to spur vehicle sales, but the reality is that it does neither very well," asserted Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. "In terms of vehicle sales, the only consumers who will be interested are those willing to take no more than $4,500 for their current car and yet be financially able to buy a new one — quite a narrow profile."

He recommends that legislators delete the one-year ownership requirement. "If the goal is to remove old cars from the road, why should it matter who owns them and for how long?" Anwyl questioned. He notes that deleting this requirement could really stimulate the economy by prompting as many as three car sales per participant:

  1. the sale of the clunker to the participant
  2. the replacement of the clunker by its previous owner (likely a used car sale)
  3. the purchase of the new car by the participant (necessary to qualify for the program)

In some states, this will even generate sales tax on all three sales.

Anwyl also suggests that the scrappage requirement be eliminated so that a larger population can benefit from the program. "If owners of a newer, less fuel efficient vehicles could get above a fair value for their trade-ins rather than just the government allowance, more people would likely participate and car sales might truly be reignited," he claimed.

The environmental benefits of the program in its current form are not expected to be significant either. Edmunds' Green Car Advisor Editor John O'Dell reported, "The idea sounds like it has good green credentials, but it isn't likely to move the needle very far."

O'Dell continued, "Fortunately, the bill still has to be approved, or altered, by the Senate. Unfortunately, most senators seem little interested in either increasing the financial incentives or the bill's green footprint." California Democrat Sen. Diane Feinstein's countermeasure allegedly would result in a 32 percent increase in fuel savings and won the backing of most major environmental groups, but is unlikely to prevail.

For more information on "Cash for Clunkers" and other industry news, please visit http://www.edmunds.com/industry-car-news/.

Some Edmunds.com spokespeople are available for interviews in Edmunds.com's television studio in its Santa Monica, Calif. headquarters.

About Edmunds

Edmunds.com publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers and enthusiasts.

Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value® , is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in January 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in February 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site and home to the oldest and most established automotive community. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis.

Edmunds is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.

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