Get cash for old clunkers with new government program

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Ready to get more bang for your buck at the gas pump? It could happen soon.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a plan that could help you get rid of your gas guzzler and into a more fuel efficient one.  It's called "CARS."  It stands for Car Allowance Rebate System.

"It's a win-win for everybody," says Stan Hurst with Capitol Hyundai in Montgomery.

He's anxious for the CARS program to start, saying it can only  "improve our overall fuel mileage in our country so we're not held hostage to these unbelievably high gas prices," says Stan.

The program allows anyone with a qualifying car to trade it in and get money for a more fuel efficient one through a government rebate.

If your vehicle is less than 25 years old, gets under 18 miles to the gallon, and has been insured and registered for one year prior to the trade-in, you could be in luck.

"It's terrific. You get into a brand new vehicle," says Hurst.

Some government rebates could be as high as $4,500 dollars.  And Stan says his customers will come out on top.

"Does the car have more trade value as a conventional trade-in piece versus the cash for clunkers.  Whichever is the highest of the two, that's what we're going to do with the consumer," says Hurst.

Dealerships get to choose if they want to participate.  But Stan thinks it's a no-brainer.

"All of us benefit if we can get these bad gas mileage vehicles off the road."

Anyone eligible for the government rebate must purchase or lease a new car for at least five years. The cost of the car cannot exceed $45,000 dollars.

Government officials are still finalizing the details of the plan.  It will start later this summer and end in November.

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