Cash for Clunkers is idling on Capitol Hill, where the Senate must approve an additional $2 billion to shore up confidence as dealers and would-be car buyers (and clunker junkers) wait to figure out just what the government's "good faith effort" to honor deals made this week actually means.
Dealers are complaining about high amounts of paperwork and some are less-than-confident that the government will be able to cover all of the discounts being promised. This anxiety is being passed on to many consumers. Still, some have found great deals.
Here are some tales of success and frustration from the Web:
Cash for Clunkers: Savings!
On July 30, Walletpop's Gina Roberts-Grey traded in her 1997 Isuzu Rodeo for Suzuki Sx4 and the paperwork (only) took six hours.
"If I had waited just one more day to join the thousands filing into car dealers across the country looking to cash in on the government's latest attempt to reboot the economy, the Cash for Clunkers program, I might not have scored my rebate. ..."
Cash for Clunkers: Frustration!
"So far, my cash for clunkers experience has been nothing short of frustrating..."
Cash for Clunkers: In a Holding Pattern?
According to a report at CNNMoney.com, the National Automobile Dealers Association is recommending that dealers wait for Congress to act before closing any more deals, possibly taking deposits in the meantime.
Cash for Clunkers: Does it Matter?
Wall Street Journal blogger Keith Johnson points out that even if consumers save a good deal of money (and hey, what's wrong with that?), the environmental impact is not going to be all that:
"Even if extended, the program will shave U.S. oil consumption by about 0.05%, or roughly 5,000 barrels a day out of U.S. daily consumption of 9 million barrels…"