The government set aside $1 billion for people to trade in their old gas-guzzling cars for new fuel-efficient cars. If you average $4,000 per clunker deal that means $1 billion will run out after 250,000 deals. We need to stop and do some simple math at this point. If there are 18 thousand dealerships in North America, then each dealership can average 13.22 cars before the money is completely gone.
In fact, the money for the program ran out months earlier than expected. Skipping over regular procedure to obtain an immediate floor vote, House Democrats' presented a bill that would shuffle around funds from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an emergency stimulus for the original $1 billion budget for rebates on new cars that lawmakers worried had been exhausted in only a week. The Senate has yet to take up the additional funding request.
On Friday July 24th Darrell Waltrip Honda-Volvo-Subaru sold their first “cash for clunker” deal. In 10 days, they took in about 35 clunker cars total. Originally, the program was supposed to go until November 1, 2009.
If the Senate passes the other $2 million this week, and you have a car that qualifies for the program, you may not want to “wait”. The first billion dollars disappeared in only 10 days. The second installment (if there is one) will not last too much longer. The picture below are the "clunkers" Darrell Waltrip traded in after the first 10 days of the program. We hope the program continues so the people who decided to wait can have the ability take advantage of the program.