If you check the CARS.Gov rules for what you can purchase with your clunker, it becomes evident that it's much easier to qualify with an SUV or truck purchase rather than a car. A 5 mpg increase (over the trade-in) applied to a new SUV purchase gives one the full $4,500 credit that would require a 10 mpg increase for a car, even less for a large pickup or van. [See the box for trade-up requirements.]
"Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst at Edmunds.com, the Santa Monica-based auto information site, said she was not surprised that some consumers were turning in old big vehicles to get new big vehicles."
"In the rules for the Cash for Clunkers program, it's not necessary to have a change in lifestyle or fuel mileage," she said. "If you still want a truck, you can get one. The program was set up to accommodate that sort of thing."
Edmunds provides there list of 10 most popular vehicles purchased with CARS credits, dominated by SUVS and trucks, including the 20 mpg and less Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado. The only cars were the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla and Camry. The list also shows the most popular clunkers turned it - all SUVs, trucks, minivans, and the Cadillac DeVille - every one an American model.
Thanks to Jenesse Miller