“Cash for Clunkers” wins over drivers, dealers not waiting for paperwork

I’d buy one of these…

Having driven the equivalent of six smoke-belching laps of the planet, Tony Metzler figured his aging Chevrolet Blazer SUV would not make a good trade for a new car. Until now that is.

With a $1 billion federal “Cash for Clunkers” program that pays consumers $3,500 or $4,500 in credit to swap aging gas-guzzlers for new, more fuel efficient models, he made the plunge. “It ended up being right place, right time for me,” said Metzler who traded his eight-year-old sport utility vehicle for a new Chevrolet Equinox this week. “It seemed like a good opportunity.”

The program signed into law by President Barack Obama in June offers a trade-in credit of up to $4,500 to owners of cars built since 1984, with fuel economy of 18 miles per gallon or less. It also applies to SUV, vans and pickup trucks. Participating dealers assess the discount, apply it to the new vehicle, and then obtain reimbursement from the government. Details of eligibility are available at http://www.cars.gov…

The program, which backers hope will arrest the auto industry’s slide and sell 250,000 new vehicles this year, runs through November 1 or until funds are exhausted. It has been broadly welcomed by auto dealers across the country…

To safeguard against fraud, U.S. authorities have warned consumers not to give financial details to third parties touting the program on the Internet. Individuals taking part also need to provide proof of identity as part of the transaction — to prevent repeated use by the same person — while the clunkers themselves are crushed or shredded to prevent resale…

Adverts are on local TV already here in New Mexico. Dealers figure they’ll catch up with the paperwork later.

May not do this family any good. My wife’s early 1980’s Volvo gets gas mileage better than the program allows and the only new vehicle that could interest me would be a small to mid-size turbodiesel pickup. Fat chance!

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