As I prognosticated before the bill was even signed into law, many carmakers have jumped onto the Cash-for-Clunkers bandwagon and are offering additional incentives. It definitely pays to do a bit of research at your local dealerships to see if you can qualify for additional trade-in cash or special financing. (But do it quick, because unless Congress extends the program, it could be over as soon as this weekend, according to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs). In the meanwhile, read on for a rundown of offers from major auto companies.
Under the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program, the lease period for new vehicles must be at least five years. As such, Toyota has created special five-year leases specifically for the CARS program. Sixty-month leases are in place for the Camry, Corolla, RAV4, Tacoma, and Yaris models. To find the special offers available near you, visit Buy A Toyota and type your Zip code into the “Special Offers” box in the lower left-hand corner.
Mazda’s participating dealerships are offering an additional $500 in Mazda CARS Bonus Cash if your trade-in qualifies for either of the Cash for Clunkers rebates. Their small print lets you know that “For $500 Mazda CARS Bonus Cash take new retail delivery from dealer stock by September 30, 2009. See dealer for complete details.”
Chrysler’s deal is particularly sweet: their “Double CA$H For Your Old Car” promotion matches the $4,500 rebate for qualifying trade-ins and new vehicles. According to an article by AP, Chrysler “will offer up to $4,500 cash or zero percent financing for six years on most of its 2009 Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep models.” The program lasts until August 31.
Nissan is offering additional cash-back up to $2,500 on specific new models.
Even BMW is joining the fray with their own incentive program: a $4,500 “Eco Credit” toward the purchase of a 335d or X5 xDrive35d diesel vehicle. These vehicles also come with a respective $900 and $1,800 tax credit.
If you’re looking to purchase a hybrid, regardless of dealer, you may also be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $3,400. This is in addition to the CARS rebate (if your trade-in qualifies for such). More information is available here.
On the first day of the program, 4,000 cars were traded in. The federal government has set up a countdown that tracks the fund balance remaining for the program. Today the news is full of worries that the money earmarked for the program has already been exhausted, which tells me that the “24 hours behind” on the countdown clock is more like a week behind — every time I’ve checked the countdown clock, it’s read “$858M Remaining.” The government is looking for ways to expand the program. In any case, the rebate money and these special offers won’t last forever, so if you want to take part, do so sooner rather than later, and remember that the rebate is only good toward the purchase/lease of a new vehicle. Here is also more info on the cash for clunkers eligibility.
Found any other deals? Post a comment!