A Clunker or Just a Beater Due to be Cashed in?

Car Allowance Rebate System
Car Allowance Rebate System

With so many people holding onto their car or truck longer, it's only natural folks are asking if they have a car that qualifies for the Cash for Clunker program. The fact is, most of us will not qualify for the federal program which kicked off this weekend. That's primarily because of the restrictions Washington has placed on the program.

But all the talk surrounding Cash 4 Clunkers along with auto makers and dealers running promotions tied into the federal program, is churning the market. Many people with an old car that may not qualify, have started looking to replace their car or truck. It may not be a clunker, just a beater or, more likely, an aging car that you want to trade-in. This is the unintended consequence of Cash for Clunkers.

The program is hitting at a time when the stock market is back over 9,000, there's an expectation the economy will improve the second half of this year, and there is pent up demand for new models.

Sure, there are still millions who are in no position to even think about getting a new car, but for countless others there is a restlessness building.

They are people who have traditionally bought a new model every 3 or 4 years. They are folks who have held off buying the last two years because of their strained finances or simply because they didn't want to take on a new car loan payment. These are people now eyeing showrooms.

I don't expect a big rush in sales, though July should be better than June.

And with Cash for Clunkers churning the market, August will likely be up from July. You may not officially have a Clunker, but right now, for many, even that old model is looking like it's ready to be replaced.

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