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Clunker Calculators Makes Cash for Clunkers Easy for Consumers


NEW YORK, NY - The government Cash for Clunkers program (C.A.R.S.) has driven millions of consumers online to determine if they qualify for the government funded stimulus that gives consumers up to $4500 towards the purchase of a new, more fuel efficient vehicle. Online consumer information sites are flooded with visitors who want to know how the program works. “Consumers are going online to figure out the program before contacting their local dealer,” said Brian Benstock from, the top certified Honda dealer in the nation. “We have had over a hundred thousand consumers visit the site and use the Clunker Calculator. It is the most popular tool online because it gives consumers a shortcut for reading the 136 page rule book,” said Sharon O’Connell from

One of the most popular applications on the internet is the “Clunker Calculator”, which makes the complicated rules easy for consumers to understand. After 3 clicks of a mouse consumers learn if their current vehicle is eligible and for how much. Websites like, and have Clunker Calculators on their websites. To use the calculator consumers can visit websites like where they start by entering the year, make and model of their current vehicle. After the calculator confirms their current vehicle is eligible, consumers can select the new vehicle they want and the calculator will let them know whether the vehicle qualifies for $3500 or $4500. Both and also have multi-media tutorials that help guide consumers through the process of getting a new vehicle with the government funded credits. As of today the video on has been viewed by 7300 people and the tutorials on have been viewed by more than 17,000 people. While visiting these websites, consumers can learn about the program, research new vehicles that qualify and contact a dealership-- all without leaving the comfort of their home.

Cash For Clunkers Stats
The Clunker Calculators provide some clear trends and interesting statistics; “The majority of eligible clunkers are domestic vehicles with over 100,000 miles. The majority of new vehicles that are qualifying for the larger $4500 rebate are lower priced cars because they have better mpg ratings on average than more expensive cars or trucks,” said Sharon O’Connell from “The rare exceptions are hybrids that may cost more but also get more miles per gallon and thus qualify for the $4500 but they are not the most popular sellers due to their higher price points. As a result, the best deals are the less expensive vehicles that cost between $10,000-$18,000. However, some of the higher priced vehicles have larger rebates from the manufacturer that are worth more than the $1,000 difference in the government rebate,” said O’Connell.

Rick Case, who has been selling clunker customers since July 1st shares some additional statistics from transactions that have occurred in his stores in Florida, Ohio and Georgia; “So far all our sales are conquest sales. Here are some of the stats:
• More than 70% of the clunkers were domestics (all Ford or Chevy trade ins)
• 71% of the clunkers were SUV’s
• 93% had over 100k miles
• 71% qualified for the $4500 (because SUV’s only need a 5mpg improvement to get the full $4500 rebate and 71% of clunkers were SUV’s)
• The average clunker trade in gets 17mpg
• The average new vehicle gets 25mpg
• The average improvement is 8mpg

Sheehy Automotive similar trends but less SUV’s;
• 76% domestic trades, 24% import
• 21% cars
• 79% SUV, pickups and minivans
-44% SUVs
-23% pickups
-12% minivans
• Average mileage 138,000

Another interesting trend are the sales to consumers who do not qualify for the government program. Chip King, from, said that “over half the consumers who initially inquired about the program did not qualify but many of them bought a car anyway due to the unprecedented manufacturer incentive programs and the contributions from Jerry’s Clunker fund, our dealerships Cash for Clunker program.”

Cash for Clunkers Websites:
“Since over 80% of consumers initiate their vehicle searches online, Automotive Manufacturers and retailers have spent money to build websites to make it easy for consumers to use their government funded rebates with their organizations.” Ford Motor Company is promoting its program on their home page where consumers can link to a website that promotes Ford models that qualify. The New York Honda Dealers Association was way ahead of the curve when they initiated a campaign two weeks before the final ruling to conduct a targeted campaign to every qualified clunker owner in New York. “The majority of the clunkers in New York are domestic vehicles so Hondas strategy is a pure conquest play,” said O’Connell.

The Association created a regional website,, to educate New Yorkers about the program. “Honda is the most popular brand in the New York market and nearly all Hondas qualify for the Cash for Clunkers program, so we launched an interactive website to educate the public,” said Rob Sabbagh Jr., representing the New York Long Island Honda Dealers Association, which is the #1 district for Honda in the nation. has a clunker calculator and a multi-media consumer tutorial that highlights Hondas that qualify. “You don’t really need a complicated chart to find a qualifying vehicle at a Honda dealer,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. A summary of the campaign can be seen at

Since consumers are looking online for information, many large dealer groups sponsored the launch of regional information portals that educate consumers in their local markets. “By informing consumers we can help them, the economy and the environment at the same time,” said Bob Germain from who sponsors and to inform consumers in the Florida. is an example of a regional information portal that offers a clunker calculator that helps consumers determine how much they qualify for and gives multi-media tutorials that explain what consumers can do to take advantage of the program. You can view a list of regional information portals below.

The regional websites and communication campaigns are built by, a private organization that lobbied for the bill, educates the public about the program, connects consumers with licensed dealers and helps retailers educate consumers in their local markets. NHTSA reminds consumers, “You do not need a voucher and you are not required to sign up or enroll in this program. Participating new car dealers will apply a credit, reducing the price you pay at the time of your purchase or lease, provided the vehicle you buy or lease and the vehicle you trade in meet the program requirements. The dealer will then obtain reimbursement from the government.” Below you will find a list of regional information portals that are sponsored by licensed dealers who can provide pricing information for consumers who want to get a new, more fuel efficient vehicle:

- in Phoenix Arizona is sponsored by in Washington DC and Virginia is sponsored by in New York City is sponsored by in Southern Florida, Atlanta and Ohio is sponsored by Rick Case and in Naples and Sarasota Florida is sponsored by in Philadelphia is sponsored by in Virginia is sponsored by Priority is sponsored by Jerry’s Auto Group for North and South Carolina is sponsored by

Spanish speaking consumers can visit to use the same functionality.

“We are doing our best to inform consumers in our market so they can take advantage of this unique opportunity while it lasts,” said William Bradshaw, owner of Consumers are flocking to these sites because they make it easy to see if they qualify for the program and to request pricing directly from a dealer over the internet. These top dealers provide consumers with additional incentives above and beyond what the government provides to make it easy for consumers to get into a new more fuel efficient vehicle.“We are matching the governments rebates up to $4500 depending on which vehicle the customer selects,” said Rick Case, from, one of the largest privately owned dealer groups in the country. “Due to high inventory levels and extraordinary manufacturer and dealer incentives, consumers are getting deals that allow them to buy cars for close to half off and drive off the lot with payments as low as $5 a day,” explained O’Connell.

Celebrities Support has received support from celebrities like Dancing With The Stars’ Cristian de la Fuente and Ugly Betty star Angelica Vale to educate consumers about the program. In addition, Alfonso Aguilar, the former Chief of the U.S. Office of Citizenship, is also a spokesperson for the organization due to the large impact the bill has on the Latino community and other immigrant groups.

“This government subsidy will make it easy for people to get a new car that is a lot less expensive to operate and maintain because of the great gas mileage and lack of repair costs,” said Cristian de la Fuente “It is great to see the government funded automotive bailout helping hard working people who need the financial support.” Angelica Vale added, “Finally consumers are getting a bail out, because they are benefiting by up to $4500 a person.” Since a large number of the clunkers on the road are owned by minorities and immigrants, these communities will benefit significantly from this legislation. “We have passionately supported Cash For Clunkers because of its positive impact on the environment, economy, consumers and its benefits for hundreds of Hispanic American communities whose livelihoods are tied to the auto industry,” said Alfonso Aguilar, the previous U.S. Chief of Citizenship and Immigration. “This legislation will create thousands of new jobs for all Americans who work in the many business that serve the automotive industry.” This is obviously resonating with the latino community because the organizations website was flooded with visitors after Univision and Telemundo explained how consumers can use the Clunker Calculator on with Alfonso Aguilar and Angelica Vale on the show. “The site temporarily shut down due to an overwhelming flood of traffic,” said Mike Degan, the Chief Technology Officer for

Be Aware of Online Scams:
While there are a lot of legitimate sites that can help consumers, you should be wary of any site that says you have to “register” to participate in the program, or ask you for any personal financial information. Some information sites will offer a service that allows consumers to get price quotes from dealers online so they can avoid wasting gas money driving around town. If you intend to use such services make sure they have a clearly defined privacy policy and visitor agreement (located at bottom of site) that assures you that your contact information will remain private and secure. However, if any websites ask for your personal information to “register” you or to “issue a voucher,” do not give any information to them because NHTSA reminds consumers, “You do not need a voucher and you are not required to sign up or enroll in this program. Participating new car dealers will apply a credit, reducing the price you pay at the time of your purchase or lease, provided the vehicle you buy or lease and the vehicle you trade in meet the program requirements. The dealer will then obtain reimbursement from the government.” To make this easy for consumers, helps consumers connect directly with dealers so they can follow the process the NHTSA has established for dealers to help consumers apply a government funded credit to their purchase. Spanish speaking consumers can visit to use the same functionality. is a private consumer information portal, not a government website, so it is designed to give the consumer a simple summary of the program with tips on how to maximize the value of the rebate based on the car they decide to buy.

About the Name – Cash For Clunkers

While making its way through congress there were many bills with many names so the public and the press commonly referred to all versions of the bill as the “Cash for Clunkers” program. For this reason many consumer information sites, including ours, have utilized this universally understood term to refer to the many automotive scrappage programs that exist in the world, some funded by the government (C.A.R.S) and others financed by automotive retailers. To learn more visit or one of the websites below.

Relevant Websites:

Dealer Sponsored Information Portals:


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