Some dealers end clunker deals early

August 22, 2009 7:07:46 PM PDT
A last-minute rush is on at Bay Area car dealers. This is the final weekend for the unexpectedly popular Cash for Clunkers program.

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Showrooms at many dealerships in the Bay Area were packed Saturday with people trying to take advantage of the program while it lasts. Honda of Oakland planned to make deals up through the weekend, but not necessarily up until Monday's deadline.

The dealership has done more than 100 clunker deals in the past three weeks.

Some customers said they were planning to buy a new vehicle anyway, but the prospects of getting $4,500 for an old vehicle worth much less finally pushed them over the edge.

"I think it was something we needed to do probably before too long. But, now is the time. This deal was going away so we showed up today to see what we could do," Honda customer Cisco Devries told ABC7.

When asked if he would keep going right up until Monday at 5 p.m. General Manager Jim Totah replied, "I don't know. We'll see. We'll see. It just depends on how many cars we have left and the paperwork. There's going to be a big paperwork crunch at the last minute on this thing."

Downtown Toyota just down the road has already stopped doing Clunker deals because of the backlog of paperwork and because the government has yet to reimburse the dealership for more than $300,000 worth of clunkers that they have taken in.

The Clunker program is set to expire at 5 p.m. Monday but buyers should beware that some dealerships may stop making clunker deals before the deadline.

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