July 25th, 2009 at 01:47am
KXNT News brings word that the controversial “Cash for Clunkers” plan has kicked off:
The program is offering a 35-hundred dollar allowance to those who trade in a car or truck that gets 18 miles-per-gallon or worse for a new vehicle that gets 22 miles-per-gallon or more. As further incentive, the allowance jumps to 45-hundred dollars if the new vehicle gets ten miles-per-gallon or more than the old one. The Cash For Clunkers program is being embraced by most auto dealers nationwide but they must be registered with the program to participate. Full program details are available online at www.cars.gov.
The fact that it has started over there doesn’t really interest me one way or the other…what does interest me though is that I was intending on writing something about this back when it was proposed here in Australia, all the way back in March.
The government is being urged to introduce a $3000 cash stimulus plan to encourage drivers to crush their old cars, protecting the environment and the struggling car industry.
The Motor Traders Association of Australia (MTAA) has commissioned Access Economics to estimate the costs of reducing the number of cars older than 10 years on the nation’s roads.
According to the MTAA, around half of the 15 million vehicles in Australia are more than 10 years old, with about 2 million worth less than $3000.
This idea was floated three weeks after my thirteen-year-old, less-than-$1500-worth car died and forced me to walk home from the other side of Canberra on a Sunday morning before the buses had woken up. Three weeks…I’d already sold the darn thing, and whilst this plan hasn’t gained any traction in Australia, the mere thought that I could have gotten $3000 for hoarding scrap metal, but missed out, was very very disturbing.
The best thing about it was that there was no proposed restriction on the use of the money, so I could have used the $3000 on another cheap car, and had money left over to use on some other useful things and widgets.
For what it’s worth, I’m not in favour of the Cash for Clunkers program…but that wouldn’t have stopped me from using it, if it had existed when my car died.