The Senate voted yesterday to extend the Cash for Clunkers by approving an additional $2 billion for funding. I still think it’s a waste of money, but it is a popular program and at $3 billion total, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the bank bailouts or the real pork in the stimulus package.
I stated in a previous post that my car, a 1997 Infiniti I30 does not qualify for the program. Not that I’m in the market. I happen to really like my car, which is based on the Nissan Maxima. Even with 127,000 miles on the clock, it’s a nice car to drive and everything works. My wife’s 1999 Nissan Pathfinder looks nice and shiny, and everything works on it too. Both cars are also paid for, which makes it even harder to part with them.
There are two reasons both cars have held up well. First, they are very well made. The second reason is my obsession with maintaining them. The oil is changed every five thousand miles and I still follow the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals.
If your car doesn’t qualify for the program either, or you’re looking for the cheapest solution, invest some money in what you already drive. I’m not suggesting springing for a total restoration like you see on “Pimp My Ride” but if the car is mechanically sound, there’s nothing wrong with getting it serviced and updating a few things. You might find at a new set of rims, or a stereo, or even just getting the car completely detailed will make you happy.