House votes to extend Cash for Clunkers program
On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to increase funding for the Cash for Clunkers program after it came within hours of running out of money. Since it began on July 1, Cash for Clunkers has encouraged thousands of Americans to trade in their old gas guzzlers for new fuel-efficient cars.
"It was far more popular than we anticipated," said Congressman Jim Oberstar. "Car dealers from Northeast Minnesota have told my office their lots have been packed with customers. One even quipped that 'you wouldn't know there is a recession on.'"
The program allows consumers to trade in their old, gas-guzzling cars for vouchers worth up to $4,500 to help pay for new, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Almost 200,000 cars have already been bought through the program, and it is expected to spur the sale of up to 800,000 more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, while stimulating the ailing auto industry and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
"This is the type of economic activity that we need right now. These auto sales are saving jobs in manufacturing plants, auto dealerships and the industries and companies that supply them," said Oberstar. "In the short run, we are protecting jobs, and in the long term, this is a program that will reduce gasoline consumption by over 250 million gallons."
The legislation provides rebates for cars and trucks in the following four categories:
- Passenger cars: The old vehicle must get 18 mpg or less. New vehicles with improvement of at least 4 mpg will get a $3,500 voucher. New vehicles with improvement of at least 10 mpg will get a $4,500 voucher.
- Light-duty trucks: The old vehicle must get 18 mpg or less. New vehicles with improvement of at least 2 mpg will get a $3,500 voucher. New vehicles with improvement of at least 5 mpg will get a $4,500 voucher.
- Large light-Duty Trucks: The old vehicle must get 15 mpg or less. New vehicles with improvement of at least 1 mpg will get a $3,500 voucher or trade-in of a work truck. New vehicles with improvement of at least 2 mpg will get a $4,500 voucher.
- Work Trucks: The old vehicle must be a pre-2002 model. New vehicles in the same or smaller weight class will get a $3,500 voucher.
To learn more about Cash for Clunkers and review eligibility rules, consumers can visit www.cars.gov.