Energizing the Economy: Cash for Clunkers Accelerates Auto Sales
The Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS, is a government program which allows consumers to trade in their older cars for new, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Better known as Cash for Clunkers, this program has energized car sales and provided a boost for the economy along the way.
Car owners with driveable vehicles no more than 25 years old and whose mileage estimates are 18 mpg or lower are eligible for credits of $3,500 or $4,500. Most dealerships are participating in this program. Dealers across the country have seen renewed customer interest, leaving no doubt that Cash for Clunkers has accelerated auto sales and energized the economy. Many customers whose car did not qualify for the credit have ended up purchasing a new vehicle anyway after visiting a showroom or speaking with a salesperson.
Because the $3,500 to $4,500 credit is not taxed as income, this is truly money that consumers will save when purchasing any new vehicle that gets at least 22 mpg.
The improved gas mileage of these new vehicles will immediately put money back into the consumer’s pocket. This is money which can then be spent on new clothing, dining out, or entertainment. This is just another facet, beyond increased auto sales, in how Cash for Clunkers will benefit the economy.
An even greater and more long-lasting benefit will be the increase of more fuel-efficient cars on the the nation’s roadways, lessening dependence on foreign oil and helping to protect the planet’s natural resources. These factors can only contribute to the financial well-being of the country and its consumers.
Complete information on which cars qualify, finding a participating dealership, how the program works for trucks, and the latest updates can be found at the official NHTSA website, www.cars.gov.