Cash for clunkers ads?


The Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC) issued a caution on August 21, 2009 about the use of the "Cash for Clunkers" wording in advertising. This advertising can be deceptive and misleading.

What prompted the warning?

Hyundai Canada and Chrysler Canada have just announced a program and they are using the words, "cash for clunkers". You will also see Ford Canada with a rebate program using the words, "retire your ride".

Is this the same program as President Obama brought into the US?

The concern is who is paying for the program? Is this government money such as in the USA or is this advertising for the private car companies? This is not a new government program. There is a government "retire your ride" program that pays $300 but this is done effective March 2009.

What is really going on?

AMVIC has certain rules and regulations. Guaranteed trade-in allowances are quite different from a dealers rebate program. We've all seen the "get cash back" advertising. The caution from AMVIC is that you need to be careful. Beware of misleading advertising. Dealerships are looking to make sales and advertising helps to attract customers. Rebates, discounts, employee pricing, family rates and cash for clunkers are advertising to encourage you to buy.

Insurance answer

It is important to remember that when you are buying a vehicle that the current price does not reflect the value of the vehicle at a later time. The truck you paid $50,000 for two years ago could be replaced for a lot less today. Be sure to ask your agent or broker about the waiver of depreciation to protect your investment but be aware that these usually only last 24-30 months. If it is very important to you there are companies that sell up to five years waiver of depreciation coverage.