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.
My Recommendation for Car ShoppersTrueCar No-Haggle, CarsDirect, and NADAGuides are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow 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