‘Cash for Clunkers’ revving up on Capitol Hill

May 14, 2009
Congress is close to agreeing on a one-year “Cash for Clunkers” plan that would give consumers up to $4,500 if they turn in their old cars, light-duty truck or work truck and put the money toward a new, more fuel-efficient replacement, according to Ken Belson in the New York Times blog.

But it can’t be just any kind of clunker to cash in. Your vehicle must be a car or light-duty truck that gets less than 18 miles a gallon. To get the full $4,500, your new car must get at least 10 miles a gallon more than your old one.

President Obama
has endorsed the program, which is part of a larger energy bill, as a way to jump-start the troubled U.S. auto industry, remove 1 million older cars off the road, and begin to curb U.S. emissions.

“This legislation would give consumers an incentive to turn over their old, inefficient vehicles, saving 80,000 barrels of motor fuel every day,” Senator Collins said in the original January 2009 press release from the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office, which co-authored the bill.

wrote that under the plan, pre-2002 work-truck pickups and 8,500 to 10,000 pound vans would also be good for $3,500 toward a new work truck in the same or smaller weight class, because newer vehicles are likely to be more fuel efficient.

General Motors said in a statement that similar scrappage programs around the world have proven to be successful in jump-starting auto industry sales.

We want to know what you think? Would the payout be enough to upgrade your fleet?

Photo copyright of Chrysler383 under the Creative Commons License