Want to Trade up in Gas Mileage and Get a $4,500 Credit?

| 7/1/2009 11:39:04 AM

The Car Allowance Rebate System, formerly known as the Cash-for-Clunkers bill, takes effect today, July 1.

Yesterday, President Barack Obama signed the bill into law that pays consumers up to $4,500 in credit for trading in their cars or trucks for more fuel-efficient vehicles. The $1 billion program is overseen by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Details of how the plan will be rolled out are still being discussed. The full release is expected by July 24, but cars purchased between July 1 and Nov. 1, 2009 (if the funds do not run out before that) will qualify.

Here are some requirements listed from the CARS program website:

  • Your vehicle must be less than 25 years old on the trade-in date.
  • Only purchases or leases of new vehicles qualify.
  • Generally, the vehicles you trade in must get 18 or fewer miles per gallon. You can check your current car's gas mileage estimate here.
  • The new car being purchased must get a minimum of 22 miles per gallon and cannot exceed a price of $45,000.
  • The vehicle you trade in must be drivable.
  • Trade-in vehicles must be registered and insured continuously for the full year preceding the trade-in.
  • The vehicle that you are trading in is required to be destroyed. Therefore, the value negotiated with the dealer for your trade-in is not likely to exceed its scrap value.

The CARS rebate does not count on top of the trade-in value of your vehicle. When you trade your car in, you do not need to do any paperwork with the government because the dealer will apply the credit when you buy the new vehicle.

The bill is designed for people with older, inefficient cars who are looking for new, more fuel-efficient cars. But there have been criticisms that the purpose of the bill is more for stimulating car sales than greening America’s fleet, since the gas mileage standard is just a 4 mpg increase.

7/25/2009 11:02:25 AM

I would have tried to trade in my 1967 Ford and my 1973 Chevy pick ups, but they are too old!! Then I got to thinking, when they break down they are so much easier to fix than the 2005 Dodge and the 2003 Chevy we have, so why even try. When they are properly maintained, they each get at least 20 mph. When you can still drive them and trust them to get you there, why trade up for more money out of your pocket, to buy them and to maintain them?

Fran Tracy
7/23/2009 6:55:45 AM

Credit is why this country had the melt down last year. Here you are encouraging people who can not afford a new car to go back into debt again and may cause more repossessions. There are already all kinds of car repossessions so why encourage people to buy cars they can't afford. I drive a 1996 ford ranger with 275,000 miles on it and get 22 to 24 miles to the gallon. I thought about trading a couple of years ago and found out the new ones only got 18 miles per gallon. GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO STOP TAKING MY MONEY AND GIVING IT AWAY. Fran

Gregory Meichtry
7/23/2009 6:38:48 AM

I agree with most of what's already been written. The one big exception is the $100/year, $1000/ten year tax idea. This falls into the same smoke and mirrors bucket that most of our governments, thinly disguised, efforts to promote manufacture and sales of vehicles. I drive a fourty year old pick-up truck. Just think of the savings in energy and resources by not crushing and manufacturing eight, or more, trucks. Probably more like a dozen. Many have mentioned the constant decline in quality, in vehicles. This is the byproduct of a manufacturing and sales oriented society. We, our government, needs to reward designers and manufacturers for producing more durable, maintainable vehicles not just more, that only get better mpg. The model of more and faster manufacturing was good for pioneer times. It's not the way toward sustainability. We live in a more mature world than the last century, or two. Who thinks incandesent lamps are better than what's now available?

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