Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Cash for Clunkers - Official on July 24th - Get up to $4500.00
We have all heard the TV and radio ads for the "cash for clunkers" program that offers up to $4500.00 for your old trade in. This has become a some what misleading program. The ads what have you think they would give you an instant rebate of $4500.00 for your old car no matter the actual value. This is not true. Your vehicle must qualify with Government EPA regulations. Even though the program's basic requirements have been known since it was created by Congress earlier this year, Cash for Clunkers didn't become official until July 24. So as part of the official launch, the EPA conducted "quality assurance and quality control effort regarding fuel economy calculations on more than 30,000 vehicle model types spanning the past 25 years," according to an e-mail sent by EPA spokesman Dale Kemery. The trade-in clunker must be no more than 25 years old and have a combined highway/city 18 miles per gallon. It must be in drivable condition and been owned and insured for the previous year. Consumers who buy a vehicle with 4-9 mpg higher than the older vehicle get a $3,500 voucher; if they trade it in for a vehicle that's 10 mpg or better than the old one, they get a $4,500 voucher. For light trucks, the rebate requires a 2 mpg improvement to get a $3,500 rebate and a 5 mpg improvement gets a $4,500 rebate. Consumers must apply the rebate to a vehicle with a base price of $45,000 or less. Dealers pay the rebate and are reimbursed by NHTSA. Dealers must disable the engine by draining the oil and running the vehicle using a substance that destroys the engine after 5 minutes. Consumers can go to cars.gov to find out if their vehicle is eligible and if their local dealer is participating. NHTSA is launching a $10 million advertising campaign to highlight the program. Program runs through Nov 1, 2009 or when the funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. $858 million left in the program funds as of this morning. Take advantage if you can.