Get Cash For Your Clunker

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback


Got a clunker that gets lousy gas mileage?

You can get cash for through the Car Allowance Rebate System... Or "CARS" as it's called.

The program is designed to get older, gas guzzlers off the road and their owners into new high-mileage vehicles.

So what does it take to qualify?

Under the federal standards for the cash for clunkers program, between my 96 Oldsmobile and a newer Ford F150 pickup, one of these two is not going to qualify.

I asked David Tomlinson from Central Toyota what the CARS program is all about.

"It's basically gonna take vehicles that aren't getting very good fuel economy, let's say 18 miles per gallon or less and the governments allowing you to trade those vehicles in and they're going to give you a voucher. "

That voucher is good for 35 hundred to 45 hundred dollars credit toward leasing or buying a brand new more fuel efficient vehicle.

To begin the process there are some requirements.

Your car must be less than 25 years old, get less than 18 combined city/highway miles per gallon and it must be drivable.

To find out if your car qualifies on miles per gallon you can go to

Also you must bring to the dealership the necessary paperwork.

Proof that you have owned the car for at least a year and the car has been registered in your name for at least a year.

Also, you must provide proof of continuous insurance for the last year and a clear title in your name.

A billion dollars has been set aside for this program.

Tomlinson says prospective buyers don't need to wait.

"This money might run out within a two month period. It's supposed to go to November 1st but it might run out in early October. "

An important thing to realize is this credit has nothing to do with a loan.

You still have to apply for a car loan just like any other purchase and you have to lease or buy a new vehicle that gets better mileage than your old one.

So between the F150 and my 96 Olds which by the way gets 21 combined city and highway miles per gallon.  The pickup won.

Tomlinson, "So it actually did not qualify even though it's an older vehicle. Now on the other hand this Ford F150 that a person is trading in does qualify. Because it gets under 18 miles per gallon. The person that's trading this one in is going to get 4500 dollars.

For right now I guess I'm just going to keep the Oldsmobile and who knows it may actually increase in value.

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