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Cash for Clunkers Ads from Some Dealers Deceptive

By Admin on August 10, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Some auto dealers are looking to cash in on the Cash for Clunkers program by luring in customers whose clunkers don't actually qualify. Before you step foot in a showroom, make sure the clunker you'd like to unload meets all the program's criteria.

New York's Attorney General sent cease and desist letters to about 40 auto dealers across New York state for putting out advertisements which deceptively misportrayed the rebates available through the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS, aka Cash for Clunkers).

These ads deceived consumers by giving the impression that just about any old trade-in would qualify. Such ads can run a spectrum -- from over-aggressive promotion of the government program without indicating its limitations, to dealers running their own "Cash for Clunkers" incentives that have nothing to do with the actual government program.

Before speaking with someone who'd really like to put you into a nice new ride, keep in mind these basic criteria for qualifying for the CARS program.

  • The car to be purchased or leased must be a new car.
  • The old car must be from 1984 or later.
  • The old car must get 18 or fewer miles per gallon (combined hwy and city).
  • The old car must be drivable.
  • The old car must have been insured and registered to the new car buyer for an entire year prior to trade-in.

Like always, knowing your options and game plan before speaking to a salesman can help you ride out with a better deal.

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