A confusing and difficult to follow webinar yesterday hosted by the National Auto Dealers Assoc. (NADA) left still many issues unresolved in the much hyped Cash 4 Clunkers program. Things like a parent giving a child a clunker, trading in a clunker that still has money owed on it and non-citizens with clunkers are still being 'worked out' so stay with me friends! July 24th is still the earliest to expect the program to officially begin, as per the gov site CARS.gov and yes, I know there ARE dealers advertising that they are doing these deals but be carefull because we as dealers CANT EVEN REGISTER YET so who knows what they are really doing out there. The folks over at Kelly Blue Book have an informative and easy to use page that helps you find out if your clunker actually qualifies as a clunker here. Theres a lot more dust yet to settle so stay tuned...
The web is ablaze with word of the Cash for Clunkers program that recently passed in the US Congress. Theres a whole lot of info out there, some of it confusing, some amusing and some simply overwhelming! You know I wont win any Pulitzers but I'll try to give you all the basics. Neatly tucked into a military spending bill is a $1 billion dollar spending program aimed at getting older, less fuel efficient cars off the road and thus helping stimulate new auto sales at the same time. The Consumer Assistance Recycle and Save Act of 2009 (CARS), more commonly known as the Cash for Clunkers program allows consumers with qualifying vehicles to receive a voucher for up to $4,500.00 when they trade in their clunker for a new car, truck or SUV. So, that '92 Camaro in the driveway that runs and is still registered may just get you a real nice down payment, just know that its going to be completely scrapped! The rules and guidelines are many and in fact, the government hasnt even told us as dealers how to register for the program yet but here are a few highlights.
What is a "Clunker"? Qualifying vehicles, 'clunkers', are drivable vehicles manufactured within the last 25 years that have been registered and insured for at least one year prior to the trade in date. In straight talk, no junk yard beaters or used car 'flips' will be allowed. Vehicles must have mileage ratings of no more than 18 MPG as per FuelEconomy.gov and yes, it will be verified!
How much will I get? That is depends on what you purchase...
Passenger Cars: New passenger cars will qualify under the program only if they have a fuel economy of at least 22 MPG. If the new model gets four more miles to the gallon than the old car, you qualify for the $3,500 credit. With a 10 MPG improvement or more, you can qualify for a $4,500 credit.
Trucks and SUVs: For light trucks, SUVs and minivans, the new vehicle has to get at least 18 MPG and can offer as little as a 2 MPG improvement over the old one to qualify for $3,500. With a minimum 5 MPG improvement, you can qualify for $4,500.
What type of vehicle can I buy to be eligible? A new previously unregistered vehicle that has an MSRP of under $45,000.00 and if leasing the lease term must be at least 5 years.
Of course there are a ton of websites with more info however please be careful, there are already scam sites that are misleading folks and costing people money. The Nissan Guy suggests you check out the CARS.gov site, it is the governments own site after all and believe it or not they break it down fairly simply, heck even I understood it! So grab the keys to the ole Camaro and I will see you soon!
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