The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) also called “Cash for Clunkers” was passed to help Americans purchase new more fuel efficient cars when trading in less fuel efficient ones. The program started on July 1 officially, but the processing part did not begin until July 24. The billion-dollar project was exhausted by July 30 due to high demand. Congress is currently seeking another $2 billion to extend the program through the end of this week.
In order for a vehicle to qualify, it must meet the following criteria.
· Vehicle must be less than 25 years old on the trade-in date.
· Only the purchase or 5 year minimum lease of new vehicles qualify.
· Generally, trade-in vehicles must get a weighted combined average rating of 18 or fewer MPG (some very large pickup trucks and cargo vans have different requirements).
· Trade-in vehicles must be registered and insured continuously for the full year preceding the trade-in.
· Trade-in vehicles must be in driveable condition.
· The program runs from July 1, 2009 until Nov 1, 2009 or when the funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.
· The program requires the scrapping of the eligible trade-in vehicle and that the dealer disclose to the customer an estimate of the scrap value of the trade-in. The scrap value, however minimal, will be in addition to the rebate, and not in place of the rebate.
Depending on the new vehicle purchased, the credit amount could be between $3,500 and $4,500. New car dealers are also able to reduce the purchase cost of a new vehicle that the customer is eligible for.
For more information or to see if your vehicle qualifies, visit the Cash for Clunkers website.
Here is some information about the program.
Here is humorous video.