US News & World Reports: Cash for Clunkers – How to Qualify for a Rebate

Formally known as the Car Allowance Rebate System this program, Cash for Clunkers subsidizes as much as $4,500 to consumers who trade in older vehicles and buy new, more fuel-efficient models. The program was initially given $1 billion. That money was spent in one week.

Headline: Cash for Clunkers – How to Qualify for a Rebate

Date: Updated 9.15.2009

Source: US News & World Reports

Excerpt: What Qualifies. & What To Do Next. Below.

“What Qualifies.”

“When it comes to Cash for Clunkers, both the car you’re turning in and the new car you’re buying need to qualify for the program. Under the program rules, old cars must be less than 25 years old (that means if your car was built before 1985, you’re out of luck). When it was new, it needed to have a combined EPA-estimated fuel economy of 18 miles per gallon or less.”

“If your old car meets these requirements, start shopping for a qualified new car.  In order to qualify for the voucher, you need to buy or lease a new car — used cars aren’t eligible for purchase under the program. If you’re leasing, the lease must run for at least five years. The new car can be of any make, foreign or domestic, but it must have a base MSRP less than $45,000, though options can drive the final price over $45,000. If you’re buying a new car, it must have a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 22 miles per gallon or more.  If you’re looking to buy a compact truck or SUV, the combined EPA fuel economy rating must be at least 18 miles per gallon.  If you want a full-size truck or SUV, it must have a combined fuel economy rating of 15 miles per gallon or better.”

“What To Do Next.”

“1. Confirm that your trade-in vehicle’s EPA-estimated combined fuel economy meets the Cash for Clunkers requirements >> Find your combined EPA rating

“2. Contact local dealers to get prices on the new car you want to purchase >> Contact dealers

“3. At the dealer, be sure to negotiate a good price before the government rebate is applied. When it comes to paperwork, there is nothing extra you need to bring to the dealer for the Cash for Clunkers program. The dealer should take care of that for you.”

Author: Jamie Page Deaton l Direct quotes.

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Subsequent Updates

Yahoo News!, House approves $2B more for ‘cash for clunkers.’ Fox News reports tonight that the program should last through labor day, and that the money was taken from stimulus funds and will not add to the deficit. – 8.6.09 Update

According to a New York Times text I received today, the Cash for Clunkers program is expected to end this Monday, August 24, 2009.  The program ends earlier than what was forecasted. l  8.21.09 Update

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