Two cars for the price of one in Belgium

After writing about a car dealer in Chicago who was offering a PT Cruiser for $1 for customers buying a $40,000 luxury SUV, I now find a two-for-one deal happening in Brussels.

Reuters reports that through Dec. 15, a Belgian car dealer is giving customers one car after they buy a more expensive model. They choose from a range of new, full-price cars -- the cheapest a 22,800 euro ($28,930) Hyundai van -- and then they can pick a second free vehicle from a selection that goes up to 14,000 euros.

The move by auto dealer Cardoen is one that other car companies have tried as the auto industry undergoes a global meltdown. Cardoen could do this buy one, get one free deal because distributors in southern Europe were desperate to move cars off their lots and were selling them to Cardoen at steep discounts.

Reuters also reported similar deals in the United States. Chicago's Bettenhausen Dodge sells two cars for the price of one, and the deal gets better at Rob Lambdin's University Dodge in Miami with a "Buy one, get two!" sale.

The Bennenhausen dealership first offered a deal of a second vehicle for $1 after buying a car, truck or minivan. That deal ended within a week because it was so successful, so the dealership started a second program promoting the buy two cars for the price of one special.

At a time when the Big Three automakers are begging Congress for money, maybe it's time for American taxpayers to get this deal every time they step onto one of their car lots.

Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job hunt at www.talesofanunemployeddad.blogspot.com