Chrysler to Double Cash for Clunker Incentive

2009jeeppatriot Over the past few years, Chrysler hasn’t been shy about rolling out headline-grabbing incentives. Many may recall the company’s $2.99 gas deal amid the $4-a-gallon summer of 2008. Today, the company announced it will match any Cash for Clunkers funds buyers qualify for from the government for the purchase of any qualifying 2009 Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep model. That means total cash back could be as high as $9,000.

On top of the $3,500 or $4,500 shoppers get in exchange for turning in their old car for a higher-mileage new one, Chrysler will add the equivalent amount from its own coffers.

The fact that Chrysler’s coffers still exist only because of government intervention likely isn’t lost on many.

For buyers who don’t care about the politics of such a campaign, the savings are significant. On a low-end car like a Jeep Patriot — with a starting MSRP of $17,540 — the savings of just a $3,500 cash-back incentive is better than you’d typically find. Prior to this new deal, a 2009 Jeep Patriot had only a $1,000 cash-back offer, plus an additional $1,000 in owner-loyalty cash. So even if you were already a Jeep owner, you’d still be getting a better deal now.

To get the largest, $4,500 credit, your trade-in would have to get 15 mpg combined, which is unlikely. If your clunker’s mileage is that low, however, the final adjusted price for a 2009 Patriot using this new incentive deal — plus the government funds — could be as low as $8,540. If you only qualify for the more likely $3,500, it would be $10,540.

The program starts tomorrow and runs through Aug. 31.

To see if your old car qualifies as a Cash for Clunkers trade-in, check out’s Guide to Cash for Clunkers.

To see which new Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models are eligible for the government incentive, check out our list of eligible models here.

In case you’re wondering: A 1986 Jeep Cherokee comparably equipped to a modern Jeep Patriot got 23 mpg combined using today’s adjusted EPA numbers. A 2009 Jeep Patriot also equipped with a four-cylinder, manual transmission and two-wheel drive? 25 mpg.

By David Thomas | July 22, 2009 | Comments (24)


Vernon Heywood

Oddly, I don't see the Patriot used in the example, or any Jeep vehicle for that matter, on your list of eligible vehicles.

They'd be under the SUV list. It's a separate list.


In case you’re wondering: A 1986 Jeep Cherokee comparably equipped to a modern Jeep Patriot got 23 mpg combined using today’s adjusted EPA numbers. A 2009 Jeep Patriot also equipped with a four-cylinder, manual transmission and two-wheel drive? 25 mpg.

Thats how far fuel economy has advanced in 23 years.Its slid backwards actually.


"A 2009 Jeep Patriot also equipped with a four-cylinder, manual transmission and two-wheel drive? 25 mpg. "

Does that mean a 2009 Jeep Patriot qualifies as a clunker?

$16,590 - $9000 = $7590.

And the Caliber still ain't worth that much.

Scalpers might have a field day on ebay though.


Buyer beware: scams are popping up with this program as we speak, make sure to consult this checklist:

Okay, so here is our situation: we have a '96 Tacoma which is rated at 18mpg, and we are looking to buy an '09 Patriot which is rated at 25mpg. So under the guidelines, as I read it, we would qualify for the $4500 credit. And with this incentive that Chrysler just announced, we would get $9000, right?

Does anyone know which vehicles from Chrysler will or will not qualify for the extra $3500/4500?

Let me know if I am way off here!

B. McClure

Where is the "SUV" list?

Many vehicles won't be eligible for a voucher because of they get more than 18 mpg or they don't run. In those cases, a good alternative is car donation. If you donate a car to charity, you receive a tax dedcution and the charity receives the proceeds from its sale.

Because the Tacoma may be classified a Type 1 Truck it just needs to get 5 mpg better combined than what you're trading in for the full $4,500 yes. So you would get the $9000. Assuming the program doesn't change.

Replacement vehicles qualifying for the "Cash for Clunkers" program should have been restricted to vehicles manufactured / assembled in the United States.


Fred Strawser -
That was in the original bill but eventually removed because republicans (particularly those from southern states) demanded it be.


Fred -
Just reread your comment. To clarify, at one point it was going to be the big 3 only. I don't think it was specifically going to apply only to those "manufactured/assembled".


I went to CarMax (the nations's largest Chrylser dealer)2 weeks ago to look at a Town and Country Van. It was $31k. Since both the vehicle I am trading and the Town and Country meet the criteria for the CFC program and based on Chrysler's announcement last week that they was going to match I went back today expecting a $4,500 price drop. The new price, $31k. The CarMax guy indicated the rebates were already baked in for the last 2 months. Not sure who is right but I am done with both of them.

This,, is the official government website (all federal government websites end in .gov). See for all the rules regarding the 'cash for clunkers", which the the government is calling the 'Cash Allowance Rebate System' and giving it the acronym C.A.R.S. Again, NOT .com, .net, .bz, .anything else!

You understand has been around for over ten years as a research and shopping portal right? We didn't just pop up in case some traffic came our way.

Despite the ease of use of the site, consumers have lots of questions about the legislation and we're trying to answer them as things develop.

If you find fault with any of our reporting please point it out. But otherwise we're trying to give people the best information to make a good purchasing decision.

Dear, Dear Dave T.,
By no means did I mean to insinuate in any way that is not a legitimate source of consumer information! I only meant to ADD to that information by providing a link to the actual government website issuing the rules for "cash for clunkers'. No offense was intended to My sincerest apology. In fact, I was reading the article provided on's 'kicking tires' blog because I find to be a GREAT source of consumer information. Again, so sorry. I will definitely refrain from future 'comments'.

Good to know! Just wanted to make sure the other commenters understand we're legit. is definitely the end all be all in terms of the program's specific details, but we have lots of resources as well.


Just tried to purchase a Jeep Compass in Toledo Ohio.....

Good luck I was told by the salesman, but we do have Nissen vehicles avaliable.

Why did the government not include a "made in the USA" clause to this program... Where was the UAW??? Did not anyone think supporting jobs and automotive plants in the USA with taxpayer money was a good thing!

What was the problem with the Compass? I don't understand your comment? Was the salesman saying it wouldn't qualify with your trade in?


Does this credit apply if my truck is licensed under my company? In other words does it apply to business?

Steve T


A couple notes regarding the Patriot. I've been looking at them and was disappointed to see that the MSRP is actually $18,170 and the match is only $3,500 regardless if your clunker is worth the $3,500 or $4,500. I consider that misleading advertising. Anyway, the lowest possible price would be $10,170 not $8,540. At $8,540 I would deal, at $10,170 I won't.


I'm from Indiana and I drove to Tennessee to find one of the few remaining patriots. My dealer gave me a 4,500 rebate on top of the 4,500 I got for my clunker amounting to a 10,200 sales price on a 19,200 Jeep. He said it was something about me living in another sales district or something. I didn't really care why, just glad to get the deal.

Linda p

Why is the consumer not getting the scrap price - the 50.00 to dealers when we do the trade in a cluncker?

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