The Average Clunker Traded in for C4C Was 15 Years Old

The government has released final Cash for Clunkers numbers–so far I’ve glanced through the summary and additional statistics. And one stat I did not know was that the average age for the Clunkers turned in was almost 15 years, and the average odometer reading was over 160,000 miles. (Click the graphic below to be able to read it.)

Picture 139

In other words, these really were Clunkers.

The summary data breaks out total voucher amounts issued by state. And there’s even a spreadsheet of which individual models were purchased (which we can use to figure out how many of these cars were actually built in the US). More than 14,000 people bought Priuses under C4C, for example.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

12 replies
  1. MadDog says:

    And the overwhelming majority were trucks which were traded in for cars. That seems to mean that gas savings were actually a big part of the deal.

  2. Casual Observer says:

    I got a chance to see Loudon Wainright and Richard Thompson in a combined show when they came through Austin this last weekend. Wainright has a new song out–“Cash for Clunkers”. Its a sing-along–had a few hundred people joining in. It’s not up on youtube as far as I can tell, but you gotta hear it.

  3. Teddy Partridge says:

    So glad Senators Feinstein and others held up this bill’s Phase II to ensure it met targets it had already exceeded!

  4. bmaz says:

    Didn’t you know you were supposed to focus on the fact that Ford trucks were traded in on – gasp – Ford trucks? You must have missed yer GOP talking points….

  5. Leen says:

    I have some Vermonters bow hunting on my land right now.(fatter deer in this neck of the woods) One guy has a used car lot up near Burlington Vermont. He, was not happy about how the “cash for clunkers” hurt his business. He had some other complaints. Maybe I can get him to visit your site with his complaints

  6. dakine01 says:

    And yet, my clunker ’92 Ford Escort with 123K miles on it would not have qualified even if I could have afforded to get something new since it still gets around 30mph.

    • emptywheel says:

      That, and short of buying a Prius, you wouldn’t get the mileage improvement needed for a full benefit. They really haven’t improved mileage that much, not even with the smaller B-platforms.

  7. perris says:

    well, I’m late to the thread but I would really like to know the final cost of the program since we sold the cars that were traded in, the payout is going to be more then the cost

    knowing that figure would be nice

  8. freepatriot says:

    every car made in America after 1972 was a clunker

    I grew up driving some of the finest muscle cars Detroit ever built, and I never owned a new car in my life

    Mustangs, Firebirds, GTOs

    kids today got no clue

    now they can’t even buy an older car and hop it up a bit

    life sux when ya care bout the planet …

    (wink)

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