The Cash for Clunkers Resource Center also contains a comprehensive list of eligible trade-in vehicles, suggested replacement vehicles and answers to frequently asked questions.
“Anyone interested in the program should move quickly because it is likely to reach its maximum very soon,” recommends Edmunds.com Senior Consumer Advice Editor Philip Reed.
Car shoppers considering the program can use Edmunds.com’s new calculator to determine their eligibility and better understand the financial benefits they can gain from participating. The calculator sifts through the complicated program details to indicate the trade-in classification, and it even points out “it is a close call whether the program makes sense for you” for those who may only reap slight financial benefits and may want more flexibility than the program allows. For example, after getting that result from the calculator, some people may decide to instead trade in their clunker for a used car and forego the Cash for Clunker voucher.
“As with all automotive purchases, it is critical to do your homework before going to the dealership,” Reed notes. “Since the Cash for Clunkers voucher is the only reimbursement you’ll get for your trade-in, it makes good financial sense to research its True Market Value and determine if you could get more money selling it without the program.”
What are the consumer research trends generated by the Cash for Clunkers program? Edmunds.com analysts have determined that car shoppers interested in Cash for Clunkers have researched Mercury, GMC and Pontiac far more often than the average Edmunds.com visitor. On the other end of the spectrum, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Infiniti are significantly less interesting to the Cash for Clunker shopper than to the average Edmunds.com visitor. The below chart sets forth brand rankings for both groups, ranked in order of brand consideration growth as a result of Cash for Clunkers:
Edmunds.com analysts predict that in July, Toyota, GM and Honda will generate the most sales from the Cash for Clunkers program, while Toyota, Honda and Hyundai will enjoy the greatest proportional market share gains from the program.