September 20, 2014

Standish auto dealers pleased with Cash for Clunkers

Waiting for more funding to continue the program

Tim Barnum
The "clunker lot" at Richardson's.
By Tim Barnum|News Editor
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STANDISH — Cash for Clunkers was wildly popular in helping automotive dealerships deal away new cars, although the program is already in need of additional funding, and Richardson Chevrolet Buick and Thelen Ford Mercury representatives both say they were able to move some cars in the short time the program was running.

“A lot of people have taken advantage of it, 15 people at least,” said Richardson’s Sales Manager, Dave Railing. “It’s been going really, really good and we’re just waiting on funding to see if we can keep it going.”

Cash for Clunkers, the common phrase for the Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS, offers qualified buyers a $4,500 rebate for trading in a “clunker” for the purchase of a new car – one point of confusion in Standish.

“There’s a lot of people that assumed it was going to be a used car program too,” said Thelen partner-General Manager Dan Krebs, adding about seven new cars were purchased from Thelen by customers who used the program. “I didn’t expect we’d do that many, but it went over really well, especially for a four or five day program.

“I still have some people, if it comes back, waiting to buy.”

Last Friday, the program came closer to getting additional funding to continue operating, as the U.S. House of Representatives voted to allocate $2 billion for it, although the approval had not passed the Senate as of Monday.

Railing explained the qualifications for cars that will be accepted as clunkers, saying the cars have to be in running condition, licensed and insured for over one year, newer than a 1984 and get less than 18 miles per gallon (mpg).

The car purchased with the rebate must get at least four mpg better than the clunker, he added.

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