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Archive for June, 2009

Cash For Clunkers = CARS = Car Allowance Rebate System

June 30th, 2009

2010 Ford Focus
2009 Ford Focus

Cash for Clunkers, now officially known as the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), is a federal program designed to stimulate U.S. auto sales and improve the environment by providing an economic incentive for consumers to replace old, gas-guzzling vehicles with new, more fuel-efficient models, such as the 2009 Ford Focus and 2009 Ford Escape.

The main question we hear being asked is if certain cars are going to be eligible for trade in or not.  Well, Ford is taking the guesswork out of the process.  You can now find out if your car qualifies for the $3500 to $4500 vouchers with their new Qualification Calculator.

The way the program works is simple.  Say for example you have a 1990 Cadillac Fleetwood that as-new was rated at 15 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway (according to adjusted EPA fuel economy estimates).  Your combined fuel economy works out to 17 mpg, one MPG below the 18-mpg limit specified by the bill.  Now, in order for you to receive the maximum $4500 voucher to use towards a brand-new car, you would have to purchase one that gets at least 10 mpg more than your old car.  In the 2009 Ford Focus’s case, it’s easy–it gets 24 mpg in the city and a whopping 35 mpg on the highway.  Combined fuel economy is 29 mpg, easily surpassing the government’s mandate.

So, not only do you get to put $4500 towards a brand-new 2009 Ford Focus, but you also get the added benefit of getting 12 more mpg than your old vehicle.  The national average for gas today is $3.03.  A 40-mile trip in your old 17-mpg vehicle would cost you $7.13.  The same trip in a Focus would only cost $4.18.  How can you argue with numbers like those?

Here’s another example for light truck, van and SUV owners: Let’s say you have a 1994 Chevy Astro. New, the Astro was rated at 15 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway—running premium fuel, no less (ouch!). Based on adjusted EPA fuel economy estimates, that averages out to a combined 16 mpg. If you choose a 2009 Ford Escape, which achieves 20 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and averages a combined 24 mpg, you would be eligible to receive the full $4500 voucher as the new vehicle gets more than 5 mpg better fuel economy than the old one. On top of getting a huge government discount on a brand-new 2009 Ford Escape, you get cargo space comparable to the vehicle you’re replacing. It truly is a win-win deal. That is, unless you happen to be an inefficient and obsolete Chevy Astro.

Cars for Clunkers Frequently Asked Questions
Updated July 13, 2009

Q: Does my vehicle qualify?
If your car, truck or SUV gets a combined 18mpg or less, you will qualify for a voucher.  Combined mpg equals the average of your vehicle’s city and highway MPG ratings.  For example, a 1997 Ford Explorer gets 14/20 mpg for city/hwy, which averages out to 17 mpg.  This vehicle would qualify for a voucher.  Your vehicle also MUST be a 1985 model or newer.  It must also have passed the latest smog test. 

Q: Will the mpg be based on what my car is currently getting or what it got when it was brand new?
It’s impossible to get the individual fuel economy ratings from every single vehicle, so the current EPA ratings will be used to determine if your car, truck or SUV is eligible.

Q: Is there a website I can go to that will show me an official EPA rating for my vehicle?

Q: How long does the Cash for Clunkers Program last?
The program will start on July 23, 2009 and end on November 1, 2009.

Q: What happens to my car when I trade it in?
The dealership where you pick up your brand-new car will send your old vehicle out to get dismantled and recycled, further helping the environment.

Q: Can I buy my car back from the government?
No, because the idea is to remove the vehicle from public roads to make driving safer and cleaner.

Q: Can I trade my voucher in for cash?
No, the vouchers are only valid for new vehicle purchases.

Q: What brand of car, truck or SUV can I buy using the voucher?
Any vehicle that gets at least 2mpg more than your older vehicle in addition to a minimum combined fuel economy of 22mpg.  The vehicle must also cost less than $45,000.

Q: Can the voucher be combined with other incentives?
Yes, since the voucher is provided by the federal government, many manufacturer rebates and financing offers still apply.

Q: How much will I get if my vehicle qualifies?
See below:

Cash for Clunkers Summary
  Passenger Car Light Duty Truck Large Light-Duty Truck* Work Truck**
Minimum Fuel Economy for New Vehicle 22 mpg(EPA combined) 18 mpg(EPA combined) 15 mpg(EPA combined) Trade-in must be at least pre-2002
$3,500 Voucher Mileage improvement of at least 4 mpg Mileage improvement of at least 2 mpg Mileage improvement of at least 1 mpg or trade-in of a Work Truck. Replacement vehicle must be similar in size or smaller than trade-in
$4,500 Voucher Mileage improvement of at least 10 mpg Mileage improvement of at least 5 mpg Mileage improvement of at least 2 mpg  

* 6,000 – 8,500 pounds

** 8,500 – 10,000 pounds


McCain’s Next Car: 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

June 23rd, 2009

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid has garnered an impressive amount of attention from the media in the past few months since its launch, including the latest development: former presidential candidate John McCain announced via Twitter that he plans to buy one of the highly acclaimed, eco-friendly Fords.

While this unofficial endorsement has made news headlines across the nation, it’s not all that surprising. CarsDirect’s own Top 20 Most Fuel-Efficient cars of 2009 lists the Fusion Hybrid at #5, and justifiably so—it gets a solid 36/41 mpg (city/highway), making it a logical choice for city dwellers and suburbanites alike.

And with the incredible $1,700-federal tax credit available through September 30, 2009, getting a Fusion Hybrid makes even more sense. So whether or not you need the Arizona senator’s personal thumbs up, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is an excellent car that will both save you some cash and show people you care about the environment as well.

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2009 smart fortwo Qualifies for Cash For Clunkers

June 19th, 2009

2009 smart fortwo

Cash for Clunkers is a federal program designed to stimulate U.S. auto sales and improve the environment by providing an economic incentive for consumers to replace old, gas-guzzling vehicles with new, more fuel-efficient models, such as the 2009 smart fortwo.

So, not only do you get to put $4500 towards a brand-new 2009 smart fortwo, but you also get the added benefit of getting 20 more mpg than your old vehicle.   The national average for gas today is $3.03.  A 40-mile trip on your old 17-mpg vehicle would cost you $7.13.  The same trip in a 2009 smart fortwo would only cost $3.28.  It doesn’t get any better than that.


Win a LoJack installation, compliments of CarsDirect!

June 15th, 2009

We’re celebrating CarsDirect’s 10th anniversary by giving away LoJack theft deterrent systems to four lucky CarsDirect visitors! Every CarsDirect visitor who submits a new vehicle request for CarsDirect Direct, our online car buying service, will automatically be entered to win a LoJack system at no cost, compliments of CarsDirect. A new winner will be chosen every two weeks for the next eight weeks.

LoJack comes to the rescue if your vehicle is ever stolen. A LoJack transmitter hidden in your vehicle helps the police track and recover it, often within a few hours. In fact, LoJack offers a 24-hour recovery guarantee. CarsDirect offers LoJack on all vehicles we sell through our award-winning Direct online car buying service.

If you’re in the market for a new car, submit a new vehicle request through CarsDirect today to enter for your chance to win!

Promotion applies to new vehicle requests submitted to CarsDirect Direct service and excludes dealer referral requests. No purchase necessary.


Volvo Safe+Sound Maintenance Program on 2009 Volvo Models

June 6th, 2009

2009 Volvo S60
2009 Volvo S60 Sedan

Volvo has always had their customers’ best interests in mind, and that might be true now more than ever with their Safe + Sound plan. This extensive coverage plan includes a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty that covers complimentary factory scheduled maintenance, normal wear and tear item replacement and their class-leading “Volvo on Call” roadside assistance program.

A few of the most notable models that qualify for this plan are the compact yet stylish S40, the sporty S60 and the ultra-luxurious S80. Just think that you could be driving one of these fine European machines and not pay a dime for standard maintenance or brake jobs for five whole years! The thought of it is almost enough to get our rear ends out of these chairs and down to the nearest Volvo dealership.

You could take home a sporty S60, with its 257-horsepower turbocharged T5 engine and superior handling with its Dynamic Chassis load distributing system. Or you could experience ultimate luxury and safety with the S80, with its available 311-horsepower V8 and all-wheel drive, high-performance audio system and onboard refrigerator complete with two crystal wine glasses.

Bottom line: Volvo is offering one of the best coverage plans we’ve ever seen and they also make some of the safest, most exciting and luxurious cars available. How can you go wrong? Hurry to your Volvo dealership, as this offer won’t last forever.

Click here to see instant pricing on the Volvo S40, S60 and S80.