Well guys, Friday was the day. What day? Why, the day that the Fed’s “Cash for Clunkers” auto-industry stimulus went into effect, of course.
If you’ve been reading my posts for the past few months, you know that Sharaun and I have been planning to take advantage of this incentive by way of scrapping the dilapidated Ford in exchange for a new car and the government’s $4,500. The lead-up to the plan was somewhat frustrating, but, we successfully did our CARS deal on day-one this past Friday. That’s right, we finally got a new vehicle.
The Ford is gone; and I mean gone. Out of my head and out of our lives. I left it sitting in front of the dealership right where I drove it up. Gave the guy the guys and the fob and a quick warning that only one of the three doors worked so he’d have to climb in over the back seat to move the thing. He looked at me as if I was joking, to which I said, simply, “Hey, it’s cash for clunkers, remember?” And our clunker is now awaiting its wrecking-yard fate… after nine years of service and hundreds of thousands of miles. I did give the old Ford a brief moment of thought whilst driving to ditch her, thanked her for her time with us. After that though, not a look back.
In the end, for those who may be curious, the government’s plan was dead-easy to use. We came prepared with everything the CARS website says you should bring: a year’s worth of proof of registration, a year’s worth of proof of insurance, and a clean title for the vehicle. I knew our vehicle qualified, and I had long ago whittled down the list of prospective new vehicles which would qualify us for the maximum rebate amount ($4,500).
We sat down, signed one piece of official NHTSA paperwork certifying our Ford qualified, and then did an optional CARS survey which was designed to determine if the program actually incentivized us to buy a new vehicle. After that it was car buying as usual, with the trade paperwork showing a $4,500 value for our “trade in.” Combined with the GM “friends and family” discount a buddy was so kind to enable us with, the year-end tax claim on the sales tax we paid, and GM’s 0% APR for the term of the loan – I don’t think we could have done better.
Thanks for our new ride, taxpayers.