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Cash for Clunkers Beware of Scams

I am sure you have heard about the Cash for Clunkers program from the Federal Government. It has been all over the news and other media. It has all the makings of a great program to remove some gas guzzlers from the road, while at the same time provide a shot in the arm for the economy and the car industry. Before you get too excited about Cash for Clunkers beware of car scams that your car can qualify for the program that can potentially pay you from $3500.00 to $ 4500.00 for your clunker.

As with all programs there are some qualifications that your clunker must meet.  This post is not meant to be a full disclosure of the program, but rather a quick recap of some high points and some Cash for Clunkers beware of car scams tips.

Beware Of Cash for Clunkers Scams!

Beware Of Cash for Clunkers Scams!

Some Cash for Clunkers High Points:

*You must purchase a New Vehicle and get at least 4 miles per gallon better gas mileage for $3500.00 or 10 miles per gallon for $4500.00. There are other ratings for vans and trucks. The maximum price of the new car cannot exceed $45000.00.
*Your old car must get 18 MPG or worse if it is a car, there are separate ratings for vans and trucks.
*Your Trade-In must have been owned and insured by you for no less than 1 year and in drivable condition.
*Your clunker must have a clear title….no leans or open loans.
*The dealers apply for the credit and must scrap the trade after seizing the engine.
*The dealers must disclose the scrap value of your car and are allowed to keep $50.00 of that scrap value for  paperwork.

There are more regulations and details available at the official Cash for Clunkers or the official name “Car Allowance Rebate System” website found at www.Cars.gov. THIS the only website you should use for the proper and correct information. When it comes to Cash for Clunkers beware of scams and do not to trust, or input any of your information to websites. The official  government website is www.cars.gov . There has been stories of websites claiming to be official sites and asking for personal information such as social security numbers so beware of these scams.

The new car dealer does all of the paperwork and submitting of your car to the program. Overall it sounds like a pretty good program for some, but not as many cars will qualify as you might think. With Cash for Clunkers beware of scams and make sure that your car actually qualifies for the program before heading out to the car dealer. You should also be sure of the value of your car that you think is a clunker by going to Edmunds.com and getting some solid numbers, and you can also get the list and dealer cost of any new car that you are considering.

I have not heard of any scams trying to deceive the government or consumers yet, but the programs officially starts accepting vehicle information on Monday July 27, 2009. There is always potential for some unscrupulous car dealers to try and scam customers or the program. So with the Cash for Clunkers beware of any potential car dealer scams by visiting the www.Cars.gov website to make sure that your clunker qualifies.

I have not heard of this happening yet, but after many years in the car business I have become conditioned and there is the possibility of a car dealer taking your clunker in as a trade in and giving your the credit, and then calling you back in a few days or a week and telling you that your car did not qualify and that You are responsible for the $3500.00 0r $4500.00 that they gave you originally. You would then have to come up with more money or finance the new car for the full amount. (this is just a possible theory, I have not seen this, but after seeing other scams I am advising you to beware of car buying scams and the cash for clunkers qualifications to protect yourself).

So when it comes to Cash for Clunkers beware of car buying scams and protect yourself by visiting www.cars.gov to see if your clunker qualifies for the program and all the details.

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2 Responses to Cash for Clunkers Beware of Scams

  1. Petie July 30 at 9:24 am #

    Cash for Clunkers is a magnet for multiple scams! Here’s my experience with a single Chrysler dealer I thought was reputable.

    1) On the first vehicle inquiry, the salesman offered me $4500 CfC, plus $1 trade for my old car. When I mentioned I wanted the scrap value, he knew nothing about it and refused the offer.

    2) Same dealer, new inquiry (my sister). The dealer offered her the $4500 CfC (this used vehicle worth about $1000 on auction), plus said they’d match the $4500 on a used car! Apparently, two lies from the dealer. Matching the CfC, and applying said CfC money towards a used vehicle.

    3) Same dealer, third scam (my wife this time), offered same $4500 for vehicle, plus $4500 match. However, the dealer did not care that the vehicle was in our name for only two months AND uninsured at the time (vehicle under repair, not roadworthy).

    This is incredible. I think after I post here, I’m off to the BBB and then find out where to report this dealer. It’s a shame, this is the last Chrysler dealer in the area, the other two were shut down.

    Had a lot of fun scamming exposing the dealer though!

  2. Jim July 30 at 10:22 am #

    It is amazing how the car dealers are treating customers that they so badly need.
    Thanks for the heads up Petie

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