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Cash for Clunkers

On NPR, they were talking about the whole cash for clunkers doo-hickey wherein you can get 4,500 towards the purchase of a new vehicle if you give up your gas guzzling old vehicle.

The idea sounds nice.

Except the ONE John Q Public they interviewed mentioned he turned in his crappy car, got $4,500 to purchase the new Ford F150. For serious? There isn't one variation of the F150 that gets more than 20 mpg. City mileage is, on average, 14 mpg.

How is that helping?

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
rinalia
Aug. 1st, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Well, it's not that I don't get that. But part of the deal is that the mpg must be better than one's previous car and must be greater, in general, than 18 mpg (which is ridiculously low). So there is an element of improved gas mileage to the program.

I still think it's silly to trade in a 30-yr-old gas guzzler for a brand new gas guzzler that, overall, is going to cost you more than a more fuel-efficient vehicle.
smeddley
Aug. 1st, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
I wonder if anyone's done a study on whether or not you really get a good deal on that, or if it's more like the '50% off going our of business' sales the furniture stores have. The ones where, miraculously, 50-75% off is only about 10-20% off the 'original' prices you saw a month ago (pre-going out of business sale).

I mean, I'm sure the dealers aren't going to wheel and deal as much with someone with the voucher as opposed to someone without one. Because if they just buy your car off you, they can re-sell it, so they're willing to come down more on the price of a new car because they know they'll be making money off of you in another way.
rozae
Aug. 1st, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
I was reading into that. There's all these rules, if you will, about how you get the money and how much. It's basically either $3500 or $4500, and the price is related to how much better gas mileage it gets than your old car. But apparently they haven't ruled out large vehicles, because some people do actually need them (though IMO not as often as folks would have you believe). Odds are that the fellow replaced an old, more gas-hungry truck with the F150. I would wager a new F150 gets better mileage now than an older truck of similar variety. An improvement, though not much of one. =\ And really, from what I recall, he should have gotten $3500 and not $4500, as the larger sum is for people purchasing more economical cars. Iono though; I'm not an expert on this.

I do know that if we were to jump on board and replace our old SUV with a new one of similar size the new one would get better gas mileage. Cars are being made cheaper and lighter in an effort to keep up with gas mileage demands.
velena
Aug. 2nd, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
Oh, it's not helping at all. I was listening to NPR a few days ago, and they were interviewing a couple of economists and an auto industry expert (or whatever), and both were like, "Yeah, it's totally a gimmick, and will do nothing to significantly help either the economy or to reduce fuel emissions."

I love me some Barack, but I do think this program is solely for good press.
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