6 of 6
BACKNEXT
John Kolber: No clunker for his kid
John Kolber: No clunker for his kid
John Kolber, of Louisville, Colorado, traded a leaky Explorer for a new Elantra.
Traded: 1993 Ford Explorer (15 mpg)
Bought: 2009 Hyundai Elantra (28 mpg)

I traded in "Gerty," an old Explorer. She had 160,000 miles on her, leaked oil, made lots of strange noises, suffered body damage, and flashed her check-engine light often. Gerty had been for my daughter Cammie to use at college.

I got a lot of $500 phone calls from Cammie: this broke, the car needs that. I was going to get her a used car, but Cash for Clunkers made it possible to buy a new Elantra. It was an absolute no-brainer. The sticker price was $17,500, and I paid $10,500.

My advice: Make your best deal without the trade-in. Then mention the Clunker program. That's where I got the dealer to take off another $500. Hyundai also threw in a $2,000 incentive. I couldn't walk away from that.

It worked out for me. But this is really just a loan against the future -- the money will have to be accounted for someday, so I'd like to thank all the other people in the country who helped my daughter get a new car.

More galleries

Last updated August 13 2009: 2:28 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Star Trek technology that we use today With the death of Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Star Trek's Spock, we remember his character's legacy: The technology we use every day. More
Zombie brands with a second life Where you can still get an Ionic Breeze air freshener. The Sharper Image and five other bankrupt brands still walk among the living, sort of. More
4 trends popping up in high-end kitchens Here's what luxury homeowners are adding to their kitchens. More

Special Offer