The Car Allowance Rebate System, also known as "Cash for Clunkers," goes into effect today. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is running the program, which received $1 billion in funding from the supplemental war funding appropriations bill Congress passed in June. Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) was among the key House sponsors of this program.
The Quad-City Times praised Braley’s “collaboration and innovative work” on this bill and recapped the guidelines:
– New vehicle must get at least four miles per gallon more than the trade-in.
– A new truck must get at least 2 miles per gallon more.
– The new car gets at least 10 miles per gallon more than the trade-in.
– The new mini-van, small truck or SUV gets at least five miles per gallon more than the trade-in.
– The new full-size pick up or cargo van rated at 15 miles per gallon or more, gets at least two more miles per gallon than a similar trade-in.
Condition of the trade-in:
– Must be driveable
– Have been owned and insured for at least a year.
– Any vehicle built after mid-1984; or a large work truck no newer than 2001.
– Any Category 1 or 2 vehicle (car, minivan, SUV, light pick up) with a combined MPG of 18 or less. This does not apply to category 3 trucks (large pickup trucks and cargo vans).
This website answers some frequently-asked questions about the program in greater detail.
I’ve been hearing radio ads in central Iowa suggesting that some car dealers will match what customers get from the government through the “Cash for Clunkers” program. New car sales have fallen dramatically during this economic recession.
I would have liked to see this bill focus more on energy efficiency, but Braley’s work was well-intentioned. This program should boost sales for automakers while helping a lot of consumers.