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The Government Cash For Clunkers Program

On July 1, 2009, the Federal Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) kicked off. What quickly became known colloquially as the Cash for Clunkers program, CARS was a $3 billion program by the U.S. Federal Government encouraging people driving old junk cars, inefficient, smoggy vehicles to trade or sell the car for new, more efficient, and environmentally friendly cars by offering credits between $3,500 and $4,500 dollars.

Cash for Clunkers was so popular that the original $1 billion allocated to the program ran out in only 30 days. Congress budgeted another $2 billion, which ran out on August 24th, 2009, marking the end of the government car buying program.

All told, CARS (a.k.a. Cash for Clunkers) resulted in 690,114 cars sold for a total cost to the U.S. Government of $2.88 billion. Of those nearly 700,000 cars, 19.4 percent were Toyota, 17.6 percent were General Motors, 14.4 percent were Ford, 13 percent were Honda and 8.7 percent were Nissan vehicles.

How can I get a quote for my OLD car instantly?

It's simple and it takes less than 90 seconds... click the button below to get started and find out how much your clunker is worth!

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So You Can’t Sell Your Car To The Government?

Sell Your Clunkers to DamagedCars.comUnless you live in California, there is no cash for junk cars government program currently in effect. If you DO live in California, there is a state government junk car program available known as the Consumer Assistance Program - Vehicle Retirement option.

Under this program, you can sell your old car to the government of California if it fails the smog test and you bring it to an approved dismantler. However, you must pass an application process, and it typically takes a month to a month and a half to receive a decision. If you are approved, you can get $1000 to $1500 for retiring your vehicle, depending on your household income level.

However, if you live in another state, such as Florida, Texas, Arizona or Utah, you’re out of luck — since the California government clunker program is limited to state residents, people living outside of California can’t use it. In fact, not everyone in California today can use it either since your vehicle has to meet a specific set of registration requirements to qualify.

If you don’t qualify for California’s cash for old cars program, no, you can’t sell your car to the government. But there are plenty of other people you can sell it to.

How It Works

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By filling out our form with accurate information on DamagedCars.com, we can give you an instant offer on some vehicles or contact you with a guaranteed offer shortly after you click “Submit for Offer.”

Accept your Offer

Accept your Offer

Happy with the offer? Provide proof of ownership, and we will schedule the pick-up of your car and deliver the payment at the same time.

Get paid!

Get paid!

We will hand you a check during the car pick up.

Who Offers Money For Clunkers Near Me?

Cash 4 ClunkersPlenty of places can offer a trade-in for clunkers, but if you’re looking to sell your clunker car, DamagedCars.com is the best choice for you.

We've been working in the auto industry for decades, and have hundreds of thousands of vehicles purchased and sold in that time. DamagedCars.com buys older vehicles or cars in less-than-perfect condition fast. Just click the button below and get a guaranteed offer for your car ASAP.

Our offers run on the real value of your car. Request your instant quote, and you’re under no obligation to accept it. It’s even good for three days.

There are no hidden fees and towing is free. Once we give you a guaranteed offer, there are no visual inspections at the time of pick-up.

DamagedCars.com buys all makes and models of cars, including classics and exotics. So, we'll buy your car too.

Engine failure, broken timing chain, blown clutch or a bad transmission, it doesn’t matter. We’ll work to buy your car "as-is."

Don’t let car trouble get in the way of selling your car. Every vehicle has value. Even junk cars and wrecked or broken-down vehicles can put some cash in your pocket.

DamagedCars.com can help you get the most salvage value for your junk car. Click the button below to get your free, no-obligation offer.


Will There Be A Cash For Clunkers In 2021?

If you want cash for old cars, a government program might seem like a convenient way to get rid of it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there will be a Cash for Clunkers program anytime soon.

Around 2019 and 2020, some individuals, including then-candidate President Biden, suggesting bringing back a “Cash 4 Clunkers” type program aimed at getting consumers into electric vehicles may be in the works. However, the current administration has not given any indication that such a program is a priority for them at the moment.

Does The Government Buy Old Cars?

As of now, the government’s “trade in old cars” program is not running. Instead, you can turn to private junk car buyers like DamagedCars to get a fast offer for your vehicle.

Unlike the government programs, we have virtually no restrictions on what kind of cars we’ll accept. Old or new, running or not, mechanically damaged, physically damaged and more, we’re happy to make an offer for it! Get a quote in 90 seconds with FREE towing and title transfer included today through DamagedCars.com.

How Does Cash For Clunkers Work?

When the “trade in your clunker” program was in effect, individuals who traded in their old vehicles with poor gas mileage could get a government rebate towards the purchase of a new car. It was very popular, despite the fact that it had numerous restrictions.

Today, companies like DamagedCars can buy your clunker without those same restrictions. You aren’t obligated to purchase a particular type of vehicle, and we’ll give you your payment on the spot, no strings attached, when we come to pick up your car!

How Can I Sell My Junk Car To The Government?

Unless you live in California, there are currently no options for selling your junk or scrap car to the government. There are, however, plenty of businesses willing to pay for your clunker in any condition, like DamagedCars. It takes 90 seconds to get a no-obligation offer from us, and all our quotes come with FREE towing and title transfer included.

How Much Does Cash For Clunkers Pay?

When Cash for Clunkers ran, you could get a credit of up to $4,500 for the purchase of a new vehicle. Unfortunately, that program is no longer in effect and that rebate is no longer available.

The next best option is to sell your clunker to an experienced junk car buyer that can make a fair market offer for it — like CarBrain! We’ll connect you to buyers in your area interested in your vehicle, show you an offer that’s guaranteed for seven days, and come pick it up for free in 24 to 48 hours!

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