The Cash for Clunkers (C4C) program was very popular when it started in late July and quickly burned through its $1 billion in funding, and Congress approved an extra $2 billion. On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation said it had recorded more than 457,000 dealer transactions worth $1.9 billion in rebates and that there was enough money for the program to continue through Monday. Monday was the deadline for the federal ‘cash for clunkers’ program which gives up to $4,500 in rebates to buyers trading in gas guzzlers for more fuel-efficient cars or trucks.
With $3,500 and $4,500 rebates, the program has given an undeniable boost to some automakers. Toyota, General Motors, and Ford Motor have benefited the most, receiving 18.9%, 17.6% and 15.4%, respectively, of total sales under the program.
The most popular trade-ins include the Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Caravan and Chevrolet Blazer.
Guidelines for Clunking:
- Any vehicle with production fewer than 500 units per year
- High average of adding the five-year costs of fuel, repairs and maintenance for model-year 2009 vehicles
- A 2009 model of early last year is considered
- A vehicle must have been registered and insured continuously for a full year preceding the trade-in
The unusually high repair and maintenance costs of foreign cars turn them burdensome to own. Some foreign cars involve highest out-of-pocket costs of any models this year. Expensive cars depreciate at faster and proportionately greater rate, like the Audi R8 and BMW M6.
Expensive repairs and maintenance costs make the following vehicles Clunkers:
- Mercedes-Benz: It has high-end AMG line engine often thirsty for more fuel, repairs and maintenance than on any other vehicle; the $88,350 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG SUV, sucks up $2,900 in fuel per year and requires an average of $1,641 in repairs after five years
- The $199,700 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG coupe follows suite
- BMW M5 sedan requires an average of $5,700 for repairs and maintenance over five years
- Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster and E63 AMG Wagon need maintenance and repairs worth more than $6,000
- Honda’s $23,550 Civic sedan requires $2,700 worth of repairs and maintenance for five years
- Large trucks and SUVs have heavy gas-guzzling habits and tech-heavy systems that require more maintenance
- The Dodge Ram 3500 needs $18,000 worth of fuel and $3,600 for maintenance over five years
- Jeep’s Cherokee SRT8 and Ford’s F-350 and F-450 pickup truck are also expensive to own and maintain