Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Cash for Clunkers

Published on July 29, 2009 by   ·   9 Comments Pin It

Betcha didn’t know you can get cold hard cash for your old car from the Government.   President Obama signed into law the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), aka “Cash for Clunkers.”  $1 billion in federal funding  is available to help sell new vehicles (2007). That means you can get a $3,500 to $4,500 credit toward replacing your old gas guzzler with a newer, more-efficient model.   It goes without saying that a green glamazon would never be caught dead owning a big, obnoxious car.


If you’re tempted by the program, don’t forget that your potential fuel savings are as important as the credit from CARS. How much might you save? Use this Cash for Clunkers calculator to get the answer in gallons of gas, carbon emissions, and cash. Switching from a Hummer to a Prius last year, for example, would have saved 683 gallons of gas, six tons of CO2, and $1,680 annually for someone driving 12,000 miles a year.

Got a clunker? Sierra Club is collecting photos of them in the Cash For Clunkers group on Climate Crossroads.   Upload one.   Still sold on your bigass truck? Check out this absolutely hilarious list; Top 10 Ways to be a Gas Guzzler.

Driving a bicycle or taking public transport?   Give yourself a big ‘ole greenie pat on your perfectly toned, sexy back!

Via Sierra Club.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Readers Comments (9)

  1. Ariela says:

    Hah! Very interesting. Me and my baby blue bike are very happy together, that and I’m a totally unlicensed 21 year old!

  2. Chloe Jo says:

    Kinda shockingly: this program MAY have closed down as fast as it was available. See here:

  3. Simon says:

    Read this article: The Real Reason for the “Cash for Clunkers” Suspension. The ex car salesman blog shares exactly why they stopped the program. Even reports that some sales managers are calling asking for the money back because they were denied the rebate when the final paperwork was submitted but their car was already ruined by dumping a solution in the engine. They now have no car. Scary. See:

  4. Ken O says:

    Dear Chloe,

    I think the cash4clunker program is LAME. And it’s not all that shocking that people will line up for free money.

    First, it’s based on our gov going further into debt to the Chinese to finance it.

    Second, people are throwing away perfectly good cars. This creates unnecessary demand and more resource waste: metals, water, energy to build the new crapalicious cars. For all the green marketing, a prius or insight will never in its lifetime zero out the energy used in its manufacture. We ought to face the music collectively and all start riding bikes, walking and riding trains…

    Third, it should be spent on public transit, not cars.

    Colossal waste of my income tax money.

    OK, now bring it.


  5. Ken O says:

    Fourth, it rewards gas hog drivers the most. (since they only need a 4% mpg improvement.)

  6. Jordana says:

    These days you can’t check up on the news without hearing something about Cash for Clunkers.
    The news agencies are pushing it like crazy.
    They’re touting it as some sort of green movement coming out of congress, but this is really nothing more than a glorified scheme to get people to buy a new car. Buying a new oil guzzling machine is not an environmental choice no matter what you call it. And any purported increase in gas mileage achieved by the new car will never even come close to making up for the wasted energy and resources that resulted from the production of the new car in the first place. Basic Mother Earth101: Reduce Reuse Recycle. Not Increase, Throw Away, Produce Some More.
    Cash for Clunkers is just a concession and major subsidy going straight to Detroit and other auto makers across the world. I am sure the credit card companies and banks love it too because people are going to have to continue to take out new loans that they can’t afford in order to pay for these new unnecessary vehicles.
    Our country’s economy is in the mud due to excessive consumption, insufficient savings, and exorbitant waste. Cash for Clunkers is the last thing we need.
    Every time I hear the phrase on the news I feel like my mind is being warped. Cash for Clunkers Buy More Stuff Cash for Clunkers Buy More Stuff Cash for Clunkers Buy More Stuff Cash for Clunkers Buy More Stuff…

  7. Elizabeth says:

    As with most government programs, the success of the “cash for clunkers” program is not measured in how well the consequences of the program align with the stated goals of its advocates. Nor is it measured by any economic impacts the consequences might cause. Instead, just like the example of the public library in George Dance’s recent article about Booze and books, the success is measured by participation or usage, not by any measure of the value provides or harm it does to our economy. The trick is to define the program specifically so that it has a known demand so the usage is high. Media spin and politics will make sure the right people hear the program was successful and beneficial. I heard a bit on NPR just today about the downstream benefits that recycling all these old cars has. Ridiculous of course, but the perception amongst the voters is far more important than the actual results and consequences. Certainly there will be follow-on programs, cash for major appliances, cash for tools, etc.

  8. chloejo says:

    Elizabeth: That is SO enlightening.. and helpful. THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!!!!!!

  9. PrivateFleet says:

    So now the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program has ended, it will be interesting to compare with Australia’s approach – specifically the tax rebate for new machinery (including cars)

Shop GGA

  • Contributors
  • Press
  • Cheapskates
  • Sign Up
  • About
  • Advertisers
  • Contact Us
  • Style & Beauty
  • Lifestyle
  • Mamazon
  • Nosh
  • Wellness
  • Exclusive
  • Default
  • Get This
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008