Cash for clunkers stalls out used car sales

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The government's cash for clunkers program has been a boom for new car sales but for those who deal in used cars it's been a bust! 

"It has seriously impeded our ability to do business," said Nebo Auto Center sales person Eddie Ross.

The program, while providing a shot in the arm for "new" car dealers, is having a negative impact on used car lots.

"The good cars that we usually buy are just not there at the auctions anymore," said A-1 Auto owner Stephanie Hawkins.

Hawkins said they get most of their cars from dealerships but with those cars now considered "clunkers" cars are harder to find.

"We have had some sales.  It's mostly on a cheaper car," said Hawkins.

She said when they do find cars they have to pay more for them.  Over at NEBO Auto Center, Eddie Ross said car sales are down there too.

"It has reduced the number of people who are coming here to even look at a car," said Ross.

"As far as the small dealer business I think we're going to see an increase in the hurting of the sale," said Hawkins.

Used car dealers said they don't see the program as bad, they say it is just flawed because it only helps the new car dealers.

"I don't think cash for clunkers in and of its self is going to really put anyone out of business but I think it's going to hurt a lot of people.  I think it already has hurt a lot of people," said Ross.

Ross said one reason he believes car sales are down is because some customers aren't ready to buy.

"I think the people that we would normally sell cars to are kind of waiting to see what kind of stimulus the government is going to give them," said Ross.

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