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Smart fortwo: $99 a Month Car Offer


Anticipating the rollout of the “Cash for Clunkers” program, Smart USA is offering a $99 a month deal on its tiny Smart fortwo car.

All you have to do is buy a Smart car (which lists for $13,335), apply the $4500 government subsidy, accept financing of 5.9%, and you get to pay only $99 a month.

Oh… one other thing… buried in the footnote.


$99 monthly payment based on customer trade-in of an eligible vehicle qualifying for the CARS $4,500 voucher level and a 36-month balloon loan with $0 cash due at signing and a final balloon payment of $6,667 [emphasis added] at the end of the loan term and a $13,335 MSRP which includes the destination charge and excludes tax, title and dealer fees. 5.9% APR financing for 36 months at $11.32 per month, per $1,000 financed.

Sounds like the tricky financing that got some homeowners in trouble.

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14 thoughts on “Smart fortwo: $99 a Month Car Offer”

  1. This latest government subsidy is one of the dumbest yet. Just like with home loans, a lot people are going to buy cars that they cant afford instead of driving that old clunker into the ground. ADs like the one above are just going to encourage irresponsible behavior. I know from personal experience, we gave one of our daughters our Honda civic with only 80,000 miles on and it would have lasted her a long time but instead a car salesman (and her boyfriend) convinced her to trade it in on a very expensive car with high interest and she was buried in debt for years. She was a very smart kid but only 18 and companys like that prey on people like that.

  2. Car advertising is the worst, most deceptive advertising out there! Some of them border on being downright criminal if you ask me. They always quote the price assuming the buyer is getting EVERY incentive under the sun. Who is possibly going to qualify for EVERY single incentive!? It is disgraceful and people need to demand more truth in auto advertisements!

  3. i am 32 and have never owned a car in my life. granted i live in a city that has the best transit system in america (new york) so it is easy to do that but still, people do own cars here. i just see a car, if not necessary, as a BIG BIG HEADACHE.

    maintainence (repairs), parking tickets and moving violations, gas, PARKING itself, worrying about car theft, INSURANCE RATES, moving the car for street cleaning, ugh, how terrible! why would you own a car? if you need one, rent it or just call car service/taxi if you want to take your family to the beach with your gear or pick up groceries from the supermarket once a week. MUCH cheaper than a car without all the headaches!

  4. The “Smart” car is anything but. Should be relabled the STUPID car. Dangerous,
    ugly, too small to have room for anything, and the kicker, it requires PREMIUM
    gas to run. Yup, any savings to might reap from the gas mileage goes out the
    window with the extra you’ll pay at the pump for Premium gas. Yea, REAL “smart”

  5. scir91, not everyone lives in Manhattan. You should get out more…. most of the country doesn’t need to worry about all the things you mentioned

    Parking problems, and moving cars for street cleaning don’t effect 95+% of the country.

    In NYC Parking tickets are part of car ownership. Most places, you never get them. Same with moving violations.. follow the law, you’ll be fine. (In NYC it’s impossible) Most people probably don’t even know what double-parking is.

    Car insurance and gas are reasonable.

    I’ve driven many times in NYC.. it’s fun, but not representative of the country.

    It would be great if the whole country had mass transit like Manhattan, but it’s simply not feasible for most places. Head on over to Staten Island and try living w/o a car.

  6. Bailout…stimulus…and now this. The scam artist love all this government money (yours) being tossed to the wind.

  7. I wouldn’t have a car either if I lived in NYC but I live in the burbs and I not only need a car but I love driving. Heck our neighbor and his wife have 6 cars between them (not sure why) but no ones business but theirs. Certainly not the governments or someone from NY.

  8. With global warming on the rise,personally I think families should be limited to one car. That’s more than enough to shuffle everyone around. you just have to work out your schedules. It would be great if it was a law that you had to own a hybrid or smart car as the family car, but maybe their just needs to be some sort of excise tax added to a family’s income tax if they want to drive around huge suvs or something other than a hybrid or smart car.

  9. From reading the comments, I believe city people do not understand the need of rural residents for a vehicle. Our nearby city does have bus service. The nearest bus stop is 5 miles from my house. A Smart car or mini-car would not serve my needs. My “new” car is a 1999 Buick LeSabre. It gets 22 mpg. My wife drives a 1990 Mazda 626. It gets 32 mpg. Both run great. Why should I be forced into buying somehting I don’t need when what I have fits my needs prefectly.

  10. Yes, some people here misunderstand Rural life. One car per family is NOT ENOUGH. I live in West Virginia, and absolutely nothing is within walking or even biking distance. Grocery store? About 15 miles. Doctors office? 20 miles. Elementary School? 15 miles. With everything so spread out, it takes time to go between places. Imagine a family with one car: Kid gets out of school at 4, dad works until 6, and mom works until 7. So kid had to wait until 7 for mom to get out of work, and dad, too? Then, you have traveling time. Oh! But it’s time to go to the grocery store! But you can’t, because kid has soccer practice and the grocery store is at least 40 minutes from the practice field. See where I’m going?

  11. @John P., You are not being forced to do anything, it is an incentive program. If the trade-in vehicle exceeds the maximum rebate of $4500, there would be no reason to bother. The trade-in vehicle cannot be resold, so that sets the upper limit on the value. Plus, neither of your two vehicles would qualify as they already get more than 18 mpg. The whole point of the program is to remove older, less efficeint vehicles from the road and stimulate new sales in the process. The new car purchase requirement is a bit limiting as not everyone can afford it.

  12. @ John P., T.D.: Yes, people misunderstand rural living. But you misunderstand the choices you have. You do have a choice to live in a bigger city (allthough currently, you might be stuck with your mortgage). But more importantly, you do have a choice to vote for politicians that favor public transportation. More roads and cars are not always the answer. Even in rural areas.

  13. @Shawn, while I can’t see any sense in having more cars than drivers, a single car won’t work for most families in rural areas.

    My work is 18 miles from home. My wife’s is 22 miles. School is 8 miles the opposite direction. My wife and my schedules do not match up.

    Get new jobs? There literally are NO jobs available for decent pay more than 5 miles closer and none at all in my field which are closer.

    Move? Were I live now I have a garden and raise chickens (both meat and eggs.) Reducing CO2 created producing and shipping those things. Plus I can actually eat the stuff without reading its label. Things I am not going to give up.

    The solution, for us, would be very high MPG vehicles. Public transportation just won’t pay here due to lack of enough potential customers.

  14. Shawn,

    That’s the liberals answer to everything: Tax those that need or use something different from themselves.

    I’d love to see how you suggest I get firewood so I can heat my home.

    I’d like to see how you’d get a new tire from the shop to my tractor.

    I’d like to know how you would tow my front loader to the jobsite.

    My 1-ton diesel pickup is necessary to my life and the lives of people in the community. A Prius may work great for you and your life, but don’t assume it’s the standard to how everyone should be. Like it or not, these evil big diesel trucks are necessary to build and maintain the infrastructure that your reliant on.

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