Cash for Clunkers – What's Your Junk Car Worth?

In 2021 the State of California continues its own cash for clunkers buyback program called CAP which stands for Consumer Assistance Program operated by California’s Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). California’s interest to continue supporting cash for clunkers is driven by their commitment to impact vehicle emissions reduction. 2021 CAP – Consumer Application Program For latest information please see information from the California BAR Program related to pollution reduction in California by lowering the number of registered vehicles on California roads. Nationally interest in another buy back program has resurfaced. Proponents see a new 2021 Cash for Clunkers program as an important way to stimulate the automotive industry. According to Motor Trend, “People aren’t buying cars right now and that has inevitably created flashbacks to 2008 and 2009, when the financial crisis resulted in a tumultuous drop in auto sales and ravaged automaker bottom lines.”
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The Corona Virus Pandemic has had dramatic impact on the automotive industry. In many parts of the U.S. New car sales have been reduced to a crawl and the pipeline for new vehicles has been greatly restricted. The stay at home orders in places like California forced automotive dealerships to, in some cases, entirely stop selling cars. These circumstances cascaded across the automotive industry as plants shutters and production lines were halted.

Proponents for a new 2021 Cash for Clunkers program argue the original initiative did bring value and drove a record year of sales.

“There is no question that the program has generated results. The shopping activity we’ve witnessed has generated a SAAR of 19.6 million, remarkable compared with the industry’s sales record of 17.4 million set in 2000,” noted Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. “Of course, this level of activity will not continue, as it reflects the behavior of those anxious and able to participate in the program — and that is a limited set of people.”

Not everyone is a big fan for a new 2021 cash for clunkers program. According to several reports, CARS the original Cash for Clunkers program, showed “the Cash for Clunkers program accomplished neither its environmental nor economic goals — and it helped feed a new economic crisis as poor Americans were incentivized to take on more debt.” In a similar manner to the original CARS program, a new 2020 Cash for Clunkers program would likely have several restrictions and parameters limited eligible participation.  The original Cash for Clunkers program eligibility criteria included the following:
  • The seller to buy a new vehicle
  • Less than 25 years old
  • Must be in drivable condition
  • Certain Models and years were excluded
Fortunately for sellers, there have always been alternative options to sell that unwanted vehicle. Cash for Clunkers has thrived since 2008, connecting sellers with local cash for clunker buyers that will pay top dollar for any vehicles in any condition.





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