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July 22nd, 2009

Chrysler: Not A Clunker, Not A Problem

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Chrysler announced today that they don’t care if your vehicle doesn’t qualify for the government’s Cash for Clunkers (C4C) program — they’ll still guarantee you a trade-in value of up to $4,500 or 0% financing for 72 months for new vehicles. Their “Double Ca$h for Your Old Car” program starts tomorrow and will run through August:

“We didn’t want consumers without qualifying vehicles to feel left out, so we are offering up to $4,500 to everyone,” said Steven Beahm, Chrysler’s vice president for sales operations.

While C4C started on July 1, the program’s officials site recommends waiting “until all of the detailed issues that must be addressed in the implementing regulations are resolved and the final rule is issued. Issuance will occur around July 24. See Program Rollout.”

Chrysler deserves some praise for this venture. Consistent criticisms of C4C has centered on how the strict mile-per-gallon requirement would limit the program’s affectability. Even though their amendment to the Federal program will only last about a month, Chrysler’s decision to scrap the limit is encouraging news for consumers who couldn’t qualify.

However, there’s another issue that may limit consumer participation. Is $4,500 enough? Now I know we may be opening up a can of worms here, but it’s certainly a question that begs asking: if your vehicle doesn’t qualify for C4C (especially since some trade ins won’t even get the full amount), and since the program requires you to purchase a new vehicle with the voucher…is $4,500 enough?

You can use Kelly Blue Book’s C4C calculator to determine if your vehicle qualifies.

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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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