Edmunds.com has analyzed the "Cash for Clunkers" program. When you consider how many people would have bought a car anyway, the cost of each new sale stimulated was $24,000. This is about the same as giving away cars.
American taxpayers paid a lot of cash for those clunkers: $24,000 for each new car sold, according to a study released Wednesday.
...The firm says that number is about 125,000 cars. By that measure, the government spent $24,000 to generate each sale of a new car.