Cash for Clunkers hurts pre-owned dealerships

Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - New car lots are reaping the benefits from the Cash for Clunkers program, but used car dealerships aren't seeing the same results.

Major automakers are reporting big boosts in new car sales from the government's $1 billion program.

Drivers can receive up to $4,500 towards a new, lower emissions vehicle if they trade in their old car.

Sales for pre-owned vehicles were up during the recession, but since the clunker program started, used car dealers say sales have fallen 20 percent.

The incentives are meant to boost auto sales, but pre-owned dealers say it's costing them.

Probably 1 out of 3 customers that pull in the lot are asking about it, so we do have a lot of customers asking about it," said D&E Pre-Owned Sales Manager Sam Ackerman.  "We still have customers that are buying pre-owned cars that are asking about it but yeah, it's an unfair advantage they do have."

The Senate will decide this week whether an additional $2 billion in funding will go to keep the program running.

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