Government Screws Up "Cash for Clunkers"
Car buyers who are serious about saving money prepare ahead of time. We've been telling you about the "cash for clunkers" program for months now and most of you have checked the fueleconomy.gov site to see if your car qualifies for the program.
Now we find out the EPA decided to review the mileage ratings of 30,000 models from the past 25 years and changed the mileage ratings of some eligible models.
Under the "cash for clunkers" program, you can only trade in vehicles that get 18 mpg or less.
The EPA changed the ratings so that about 50 vehicles that didn't qualify before now do.
The bad part: they changed about 50 vehicles which used to qualify but now don't!
So for those of you who prepared ahead of time and checked your fuel ratings, you better check again to make sure your trade-in still qualifies.
There have been many angry car shoppers who only found out about the change at the dealership when they were ready to buy.
Some popular models that no longer qualify are:
- 1989 Mazda 929
- 1998 Toyota Camry
- 1988 Toyota 4Runner
- 1992 Saab 900S
As if this wasn't bad enough, the program didn't launch on time because dealers couldn't login to register the trade-ins. Apparently, some knucklehead decided to put the online registration on the same server as the cars.gov web site (which went down due to heavy traffic).
Everything seems to be working now, but again, we recommend you double check the fuel ratings before buying a new car.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid
About The AuthorGregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.
Latest Weekly Car Buying Tips
- Worst Cars to Lease Right Now Mar 23, 2023
- Cars With the Largest Rebates Mar 23, 2023
- Real Prices of Compact Cars Mar 23, 2023
- Which Cars Better to Lease or Buy Mar 23, 2023
- Top 100 Cheapest Lease Deals Mar 16, 2023
- New Cars with the Most Available Inventory Mar 16, 2023
- Biggest Discounts on New Cars Mar 16, 2023
- Real Prices of Large SUVs Mar 16, 2023
- Best Bang for Your Buck Lease Deals Mar 09, 2023
- Best Electric, Hybrid Lease Deals Mar 09, 2023
- Best 0% Finance Deals March 2023 Mar 09, 2023
- Price Comparison of Subcompact SUVs Mar 09, 2023
- Top 100 Cheapest New Cars Mar 02, 2023
- Best Car Deals Around the Country Mar 02, 2023
- Real Prices of New Compact SUVs Mar 02, 2023
- New Cars You Should Wait to Buy Mar 02, 2023
- Best Car Deals by Category Feb 23, 2023
- Real Prices of Midsize SUVs Feb 23, 2023
- Lease Deals with Loyalty & Conquest Rebates Feb 23, 2023
- Real Prices of Midsize Cars Feb 16, 2023
- Real Prices of Pickup Trucks Feb 09, 2023
- Cheapest Luxury Lease Deals Feb 02, 2023