Get up to $4,500 for your gas guzzler

Here’s some information that could be useful for some people thinking about buying a new car — Car dealers across the country can start registering today for the new “cash to clunkers” program in which dealers will be able to take $3,500 or $4,500 off the price of a fuel-efficient car if you agree to junk a gas-guzzling car.

The new program, signed into law a month ago, is designed to protect the environment while helping the auto industry. The deal will be available until Nov. 1 or until $1 billion in funding is depleted.   

Here are details about this program forwarded to me by our ever-alert and helpful Beth Pankoski:

President Obama signed into law a program the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is calling the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), more commonly referred to at dealerships as “cash for clunkers”. This is a federal program that helps you purchase a new, more fuel efficient vehicle when you trade in a less fuel efficient vehicle.

While the CARS Act makes transactions on and after July 1 potentially eligible for credits under the CARS program, interested dealers and consumers may want to wait until all of the detailed issues that must be addressed in the implementing regulations are resolved and the final rule is issued. Issuance will occur around July 24.

You do not need a voucher and you are not required to sign up or enroll in this program. Participating new car dealers will apply a credit, reducing the price you pay at the time of your purchase or lease, provided the vehicle you buy or lease and the vehicle you trade in meet the program requirements. The dealer will then obtain reimbursement from the government.

The law requires dealers to be registered to participate in this program.  As dealers are registered, they will be listed on the following website: http://www.cars.gov and click on “dealers”.  You can also contact dealers in your area to ask whether they plan to participate in the program.  The CARS Act requires that dealers be licensed by their respective state for the sale of new automobiles in order for them to participate in the program.

To see if your vehicle qualifies for this program, go to http://www.cars.gov and follow the appropriate links.

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