Cash for Clunkers Consumer Guide - Qualifying Vehicles and How It Works


Cash for Clunkers
Cash for Clunkers

SEE ALSO: Cash for Clunkers Update
SEE ALSO: 100% Accurate C.A.R.S. Qualifying Data
SEE ALSO: Cash for Clunkers Government Site
SEE ALSO: 6 Steps to Cash for Clunkers
SEE ALSO: New Cars For $100-$150 Per Month
SEE ALSO: So You Cars a Clunker-LUCKY!
SEE ALSO: Cash For Clunkers News and Editorials Index
SEE ALSO: Warning! - Cash For Clunker Scams

What is the Car Allowance Rebate System? (Cash for Clunkers) It is a government program that helps you purchase a new, more fuel efficient vehicle when you turn in a less fuel efficient qualifying vehicle. Click Here to see if your car qualifies as a clunker

Qualifying new cash for clunker vehicles (see below links) must meet MPG criteria and must have a BASE MSRP of $45,000 or less, the base price on the Monroney sticker affixed to the vehicle before any accessories, optional equipment, taxes or destination charges are added to the price.

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Cash For Clunkers(C.A.R.S.) Qualifying New Vehicles, Prices and Specs

Cash For Clunkers Qualifying Vehicles:

Qualifying Sedans (22 MPG+ under $45,000 (Base* MSRP): Qualifying Sedans

Qualifying Coupes (22 MPG+ under $45,000 (Base* MSRP): Qualifying Coupes

Qualifying Wagons (22 MPG+ under $45,000 (Base* MSRP): Qualifying Wagons

Qualifying Minivans(18 MPG+ under $45,000 (Base* MSRP): Qualifying MiniVans

Qualifying SUV/CUV (18 MPG+ under $45,000 (Base* MSRP): Qualifying SUV/CUV

SUV/CUV Van Qualifications: Your clunker turn-in must get less than 18 MPG. New light trucks or SUVs with mileage of at least 18 mpg are eligible for vouchers. If the mileage of the new truck or SUV is at least 2 mpg higher than the old truck, the voucher will be worth $3,500. If the MPG of the new truck or SUV is at least 5 mpg higher than the old truck, the voucher will be worth $4,500.

Qualifying Pick-ups(15MPG+ and under $45,000 (Base* MSRP): Quailfying Pick-ups

Pick-up Trucks: New large trucks (pick-up trucks and vans weighing between 6,000 and 8,500 pounds) with mileage of at least 15 mpg are eligible for vouchers. If the mileage of the new truck is at least 1 mpg higher than the old truck, the voucher will be worth $3,500. If the mileage of the new truck is at least 2 mpg higher than the old truck, the voucher will be worth $4,500.

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Official New Vehicle Eligibility for the CARS Program
•The new vehicle is being purchased or, in the case of a lease, leased for a period of not less than five (5) years.
•The new vehicle has a base manufacturer’s suggested retail price(MSRP) as shown on the Monroney label affixed to the new vehicle of $45,000 or less (exclusive of any accessories, optional equipment, taxes or destination charges).

Read what is NHTSA doing to guard against fraud? Click here for more information.

See Program Rollout

CARS UPDATE(August 12, 2009): CONSUMERS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO SIGN CONTINGENCY AGREEMENTS TO PAY BACK THE DEALER SHOULD THE CARS CREDIT BE REJECTED.

We’ve also heard that dealers are asking consumers to keep their “clunker” until the deal is approved by NHTSA.

IF THE DEALER HAS THE NEW CAR IN STOCK, THE DEALER MUST ALLOW YOU TO TAKE POSSESSION OF THE NEW CAR BEFORE THE DEALER MAY SUBMIT THE CREDIT APPLICATION TO THE GOVERNMENT. PLEASE REPORT ANY DEALER TO NHTSA THAT DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO TAKE POSSESSION OF A NEW CAR PURCHASED UNDER THE CARS PROGRAM. PLEASE CALL THE CARS HOTLINE AT (866) CAR-7861.

Cash for Clunkers Key Points:

  • -Clunkers must have 18 combined MPG or less to qualify for cash
  • -You must have owned and insured your "clunker" for over one year.
  • -New passenger vehicles purchased must get at least 22 MPG and at least 4 MPG better to qualify for $3500 or 10MPG better to qualify for $4500 than your "clunker"(see below for other vehicle types)
  • -The cash is limited to the first 250,000 retail customers
  • -The new car dealer will deduct the amount you are entitled to from the net deal.
  • -Eligible new vehicles must have a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $45,000 or less.

Cash for Clunkers MPG Tools

SEE ALSO: Find Your "Clunkers" MPG Ratings
SEE ALSO: All New Sedans Listed By Combined MPG
SEE ALSO: All New SUV/CUV Listed By Combined MPG
SEE ALSO: All New Wagons Listed By Combined MPG
SEE ALSO: All New MiniVans Listed By Combined MPG
SEE ALSO: All New Pick-ups Listed By Combined MPG

Washington DC June 15, 2009; The House of Representatives will soon consider Rep. Sutton’s CARS (Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save) Act (H.R. 2460). The legislation is based on an agreement reached by Reps. Waxman, Markey, Dingell, Sutton, Inslee, and Stupak that passed the Committee in May by a vote of 50-4 as an amendment to the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) climate legislation.

Under the program, consumers may trade in their old, gas-guzzling vehicles and receive vouchers worth up to $4,500 to help pay for new, more fuel efficient cars and trucks. The program will be authorized for up to one year and provide for approximately one million new car or truck purchases. The agreement divides these new cars and trucks into four categories. Miles per gallon figures below refer to EPA “window sticker” values.

Passenger Cars: The old vehicle must get 18 mpg or less. New passenger cars with mileage of at least 22 mpg are eligible for vouchers. If the mileage of the new car is at least 4 mpg higher than the old vehicle, the voucher will be worth $3,500. If the mileage of the new car is at least 10 mpg higher than the old vehicle, the voucher will be worth $4,500.

Light-Duty Trucks: The old vehicle must get 18 mpg or less. New light trucks or SUVs with mileage of at least 18 mpg are eligible for vouchers. If the mileage of the new truck or SUV is at least 2 mpg higher than the old truck, the voucher will be worth $3,500. If the mileage of the new truck or SUV is at least 5 mpg higher than the old truck, the voucher will be worth $4,500.

Large Light-Duty Trucks: New large trucks (pick-up trucks and vans weighing between 6,000 and 8,500 pounds) with mileage of at least 15 mpg are eligible for vouchers. If the mileage of the new truck is at least 1 mpg higher than the old truck, the voucher will be worth $3,500. If the mileage of the new truck is at least 2 mpg higher than the old truck, the voucher will be worth $4,500.

Work Trucks: Under the agreement, consumers can trade in a pre-2002 work truck (defined as a pick-up truck or cargo van weighing from 8,500-10,000 pounds) and receive a voucher worth $3,500 for a new work truck in the same or smaller weight class. There will be a finite number of these vouchers, based on this vehicle class’s market share. There are no EPA mileage measures for these trucks; however, because newer models are cleaner than older models, the age requirement ensures that the trade will improve environmental quality. Consumers can also “trade down,” receiving a $3,500 voucher for trading in an older work truck and purchasing a smaller light-duty truck weighing from 6,000 – 8,500 pounds.

Frequently Asked Questions About "Cash For Clunkers"


Q: What is the purpose of this bill?

A: To help consumers purchase more fuel efficient vehicles, help the environment, and boost auto sales.

Q: What are the trade-in eligibility requirements to participate in the CARS program?

A: Requirements:
· Trade-in vehicle must be registered in purchaser's name and have been owned for 1 year.
· Consumers must trade-in a vehicle with a maximum combined city/highway fuel economy of 18 miles per gallon or less to be eligible for CARS program.

Q: What are the requirements when purchasing the new car?

A: The requirements for purchasing a new car, light truck, or work truck are different depending on what class of vehicle you are purchasing.
· Eligible new vehicles must have a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $45,000 or less

Passenger Car
· Minimum Fuel Economy for New Vehicle must receive 22 mpg (EPA combined fuel economy)

To receive a $3,500 Voucher- toward the lease or purchase of a new eligible vehicle
· Mileage improvement must be at least 4 mpg over trade-in vehicle

To receive a $4,500 Voucher- toward the lease or purchase of a new eligible vehicle
· Mileage improvement must be at least 10 mpg over trade-in vehicle

Small Light-Duty Truck
· Minimum Fuel Economy for New Vehicle must receive 18 mpg (EPA combined fuel economy)

To receive a $3,500 Voucher- toward the lease or purchase of a new eligible vehicle
· Mileage improvement must be at least 2 mpg over trade-in vehicle

To receive a $4,500 Voucher- toward the lease or purchase of a new eligible vehicle
· Mileage improvement must be at least 5 mpg over trade-in vehicle

Large Light-Duty Truck
· Minimum Fuel Economy for New Vehicle must receive 15 mpg (EPA combined fuel economy)

To receive a $3,500 Voucher- toward the lease or purchase of a new eligible vehicle
· Mileage improvement must be at least 1 mpg over trade-in; or trade-in a work truck for Large Light-Duty Truck

To receive a $4,500 Voucher- toward the lease or purchase of a new eligible vehicle
· Mileage improvement must be at least 2 mpg over trade-in vehicle

Work Truck (8,500-10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating)
· Minimum Fuel Economy for New Work Truck Does not apply
· If you trade in a work truck, you must purchase a work truck.

To receive a $3,500 Voucher- toward the lease or purchase of a new work truck
· Trade-in vehicle must be a 2001 Model Year work truck or older.

Q: Can I lease a vehicle through the CARS program?

A: Yes, the vehicle lease terms must be for a minimum of five years.

Q: What is Combined Fuel Economy? How do I qualify?

A: To determine if your vehicle qualifies under the CARS Act you should:
· Find out the combined fuel economy of your vehicle by visiting the Environmental Protection Agency's site http://www.fueleconomy.gov/.
· Proceed to "Your MPG" section located in the bottom left hand corner of the site. Follow the link and provide the make, model, and year your vehicle.
· Visit a local dealership in your area

Q: How do I receive the voucher?

A: A dealer will credit the voucher amount towards the purchase or lease of the eligible new vehicle.

Q: When can I take advantage of this CARS program?

A: The CARS program will be effective immediately after the bill is enacted.

Q: Is the bill retroactive?

A: Unfortunately, this bill is not retroactive.

Q: What is the status of the bill?

A: The House of Representatives passed the bill on Tuesday, June 9, 2009. The Bill will now go to the Senate.

Q: When trading in the old vehicle, is the voucher value added to the "trade in" or scrap value of the car?

A: Consumers surrender their old vehicle to the dealer in order to take advantage of the CARS program. Consumers should research the scrap value of the vehicle they are trading in. The bill does require the dealer to disclose their best estimate regarding the scrap value of the trade-in car. There is no requirement for the scrap value to be added to the voucher value.

Q: How many vouchers can be obtained per person?

A: One voucher can be issued per individual.

Q: How many vouchers can be obtained per trade-in vehicle?

A: One voucher will be issued for a single trade in vehicle; this includes trade in vehicles that are jointly-registered.

Q: Are used cars eligible under the CARS program?

A: Unfortunately no, this program applies to the purchase of new vehicles.

Q: Are only American cars eligible for this program?

A: No, all cars are eligible for this program if they meet the requirements.

Q: Are their any tax consequences?

A: No, the value of the voucher is not considered gross or taxable income.

Q: Are all dealerships required to participate in the CARS program?

A: The Department of Transportation will issue regulations within 30 days of the bill, including the process for dealers to register to participate in the program. These regulations will also include how to determine if the vehicle is eligible for a trade in, how to locate participating dealers, a comprehensive list by make and model, of new fuel efficient automobiles meeting the requirements of the program.

Q: Where can I find more information?

A: More information can be found at http://www.sutton.house.gov/.


SUMMARY OF CASH-FOR-CLUNKERS AGREEMENT 
		Passenger car		Light-duty truck		Large light-duty truck (6,000-8,500 lbs.)		Work truck (8,500-15,000 lbs.)
 

Minimum fuel economy for new vehicle		22 mpg (EPA combined)		18 mpg (EPA combined)		15 mpg (EPA combined)		Not applicable
 

$3,500 voucher		Mileage improvement of at least 4 mpg.		Mileage improvement of at least 2 mpg.		Mileage improvement of at least 1 mpg or trade-in of a work truck.		Trade-in must be at least pre-2002.
 

$4,500 voucher		Mileage improvement of at least 10 mpg.		Mileage improvement of at least 5 mpg.		Mileage improvement of at least 2 mpg.		NA
 

Source: House Committee on Energy and Commerce

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