Cash for Clunkers Program - Is It Still Around?

cash-for-clunkers-program

It’s 2008 and the economy just took a major turn for the worse. Thousands of Americans lost their homes and couldn’t make ends meet. The automotive industry was teetering on the brink of disaster and the US Government saw it. So, Cash for Clunkers was born.


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The Cash for Clunkers program was pretty simple. You could retire your older car and get cash for it. It was like a government car trade in program, guaranteeing you’d get $1,000 for your old car or more.

1000 for Your Old Car

But all good things must come to an end, right? The clunker trade-in program had modest success, kickstarting the auto industry at the most critical junction. Even still, more than one carmaker needed a cash injection beyond the federal government Cash for Clunkers program. In 2010, the Cash for Clunkers program was suspended.

Is That the End of Cash for Clunkers?

Car companies are still struggling to kick car sales into high gear. It looks like the federal government Cash for Clunkers program won’t be invoked anytime soon, despite the uneasy feeling in the auto industry. And for people whose car wont pass smog program testing, or for interested car buyers who can’t get the same trade-in value as the clunker trade in program, it’s unfortunate.

Cash for Clunkers 2018

Although there isn’t a federal program in effect, there are still a couple of options to get $1,000 for your old car. If you’re in a certain part of the country, there’s a Cash for Clunkers program that might apply for you. Or, there is another way to get cash for cars.

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Cash for Clunkers in California

You’re reading that heading correctly. If you live in California, there is a program still in place. Cash for Clunkers in California will pay either $1,500 or $1,000 for your old car if your car won’t pass smog program stringent testing.

The old clunker trade in program was much less exclusive, obviously. It didn’t matter where you lived, you had access to get money when you opted for the 'scrap my car' option. Now, in order to use the state’s clunker car disposal program, it needs to be your home state.

Criteria to Use California’s Cash for Clunkers 2018

Not only do you have to live in California, but there are other criteria to be eligible for Cash for Clunkers.

  • Your car has to fail a smog test. No doubt about it – no fake test results, no cancelled tests, and no cheating of any kind. Your car MUST fail the smog test or you can’t access the California car buyback program at all.

  • There can’t be missing parts. Unlike other programs where your car’s condition didn’t matter, your car has to be almost completely whole. All the windows, doors, fenders, hood, and wheels have to be there. You must have at least one bumper intact as well. So that means parting out your car beforehand isn't an option.

  • You have to drive your car to the junkyard. Your car has to make it on its own power to the authorized facility. No towing, pushing, or pulling allowed.

  • It has to start on its own power. It can’t need a boost or a push start – turn the key and go, otherwise it’s a no-go for the Cash for Clunkers money.

Car Buy Back Program

How Much Money Will I Get?

If your car is eligible for the program, you can get cash for your scrap car. But how much? It depends on your income level.

The base amount for the Cash for Clunkers 2018 program is $1,000. You’ll get at least $1,000 for your old car if it meets eligibility criteria. But if your income level is below a certain threshold – 225 percent of the poverty level – then you could get even more for it. For people whose income is below the threshold, $1,500 is how much you’ll get for your car.

Keep in mind that when the money runs out, Cash for Clunkers stops. That means your car might qualify but you don’t get any cash because the fund’s coffers are empty.

The Other Way to Get Cash for Scrap Cars

So what do you do if you don’t live in California? And what if your car hasn’t failed its smog test? Or what about cars that aren’t in any condition to drive? You can still get good money for your car.

CarBrain buys cars in any condition. Regardless of your location in the United States, whether its emissions system is working, or if it runs and drives, we’ll buy it. We specialize in purchasing less-than-perfect cars at a fair price.

Whether you have a car that’s been in an accident, it’s been flooded or burned, it has electrical or mechanical issues, it doesn’t look good anymore, or it’s rusting away, we’ll buy it for cash.

Simply call or click to receive a fast and accurate quote. There’s no obligation at all. If the offer looks good to you, simply accept it. You’ll receive payment fast, typically within 24 to 48 hours, and we’ll pick up your car soon after.

You have nothing to lose by requesting an offer from CarBrain today!

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