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August 6th, 2009

No Car Left Behind

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Some of the nation’s largest auto dealers have decided that they won’t wait for the Senate to decide whether or not the Cash for Clunkers program gets another $2 billion. Across the U.S., certain private auto dealerships have started their own automotive stimulus package. Their stimulus package offers anywhere from $500-$4,500 in incentives on top of what Washington is offering.

Plus, the private auto stimulus has a much more relaxed policy when it comes to the vehicles they except. All vehicles manufactured prior to 2007 are eligible under the private program. As long as the new or used vehicle (that’s right, the private program isn’t limited to the purchase of merely new vehicles) gets two more miles per gallon than the trade in, the vehicle is accepted:

Under the private plan, which promises easier paperwork for dealers and no down payment for qualified buyers, trade-in vehicles must be a 2006 model or older; in working condition; be owned, registered and insured for a minimum of six months; and must be less fuel efficient by 2 miles per gallon than their replacement vehicle. Incentives, which vary on make and models, are also subject to all state laws relating to automotive advertising and promotion.

“The MPG requirements are lower because our primary goal is to help consumers that don’t qualify for the government’s program and to stimulate the economy through improved sales, jobs and spending,” Courtesy Chrevolet’s Scott Grunwell said in a press release announcing the program. “As a result, the environmental benefits will not be as big as the government program but it will help more customers purchase more fuel efficient vehicles.”

While the private deal does seem far more expansive in what it offers to consumers, it is only offered by select dealerships (Fox reports that about 50 dealerships nationwide are participating).

What Do You Think?

FoxNews.com wrote that this private program should force us to ask ourselves this question: “Do taxpayers really need to kick in an additional $2 billion for the federal program now that private dealers are offering a similar — or even better — deal?”

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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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