Dealers Ending "Cash For Clunkers"

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

It might be hard to believe Pat Sill's car was ever new. But it was-- two decades ago.

"'88. I bought it new in '88," the woman from Gaines says.

Now Sill is ready for a "new" new car, but she heard she had only until Monday to get $4,500 on her true clunker.

"So I decided to come down to do it," Sill says.

Sill isn't alone.

"We went from a 220-day supply of cars to a 20-day supply of cars. It's been a real turnaround," says Terry Hanks, owner of Sundance Chevrolet.

Hanks says they've sold about 150 new cars since the start of Cash For Clunkers just weeks ago, even though it's been a headache with the federal government's bogged down computer system.

"It's a good idea. The administration was a little off target but it's a good deal," Hanks says.

If you're looking to get rid of your clunker, you might want to come in sooner than later; dealers say it's better to get the paperwork started early.

"Getting into that computer system can be hard," Hanks says. "They want to have time on their side. Waiting until the last minute can be touchy."

In more ways than one.

The federal deadline for the program may be Monday night at 8, but some dealers are stopping taking new deals early-- like Shaheen Chevrolet, who will end Saturday at 4 p.m.

"You've got to have paperwork submitted by 8 p.m. Monday, and there's a strong possibility you can't even get on their computer system," says General Manager Jason Cords.

Whether it's Saturday, Sunday or Monday-- the reality is the program is about to run out.

The Secretary of State is closed Friday for a state furlough day, making it impossible to get immediate copies of your old car's title or registration. Those are needed for the Cash For Clunkers deals. The SOS will re-open Monday and will stay open late, until 7 p.m., to accomodate people.


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