Cash for Clunkers May Not Help Used Car Dealerships

By: Philip Townsend Email
By: Philip Townsend Email

President Barack Obama has signed off on a law that hopes to spark the auto industry, but some used car dealerships in the Valley say it's not necessarily good news for them.

Andrew Wiley at Consumers Auto Warehouse in Staunton says the used-car industry hasn't escaped slow times in the economy.

He says, "Used vehicles are a little better off than new cars are for sure, but it's been a struggle for us as well."

Obama signed off on the Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS, Wednesday night that plans to ignite new car sales.

Used car owners can trade in their old cars and get a better rate on a new, more fuel efficient set of wheels. They're incentives that could affect used dealers like Wiley.

Wiley adds, "It's not going to do us a whole lot of good. Frankly, I'm not convinced it's going to do a whole lot of good on the new car side either."

He says the plan has too many restrictions.

"In the grand scheme of things, I don't think it's going to make a big difference," comments Wiley.

To qualify for the incentive, your car must have been manufactured less than 25 years before the date you trade it in and have a fuel economy of 18 miles to the gallon or less.

Wiley says, "You're talking about a fairly old car. Is that really a new car buyer? That's my question."

While it's one of many efforts the Obama Administration is taking to turn around the industry, Wiley says he'd rather see it be left alone.

"I'm not worried about it. I don't think the government needs to be involved," says Wiley. "The market will take care of itself."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is still working out the program specifics. It could go into effect as soon as August 1.


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