The program gives consumers up to $4500 to buy a new fuel efficient car when they trade in an old gas guzzler. Here are the requirements for The CAR Allowance Rebate System (CARS):
- Your vehicle must be less than 25 years old on the trade-in date
- Only purchase or lease of new vehicles qualify
- Generally, trade-in vehicles must get 18 or less MPG (some very large pick-up trucks and cargo vans have different requirements)
- Trade-in vehicles must be registered and insured continuously for the full year preceding the trade-in
- You don't need a voucher, dealers will apply a credit at purchase
- Program runs through Nov 1, 2009 or when the funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.
- The program requires the scrapping of your eligible trade-in vehicle, and that the dealer disclose to you an estimate of the scrap value of your trade-in. The scrap value, however minimal, will be in addition to the rebate, and not in place of the rebate.
Consumer Bill of Rights:
- Qualified consumers may participate in the CARS Program between July 1, 2009 and November 1, 2009 or when authorized funds are no longer available.
- Qualified consumers will receive a credit of $3,500 or $4,500 for an eligible trade-in toward the purchase of lease of an approved vehicle under CARS Program.
- Qualified consumers will receive the $3,500 or $4,500 credit at the time the purchase their new vehicle.
- Dealers must provide consumers with any other advertised rebates or discounts in addition to the credit they receive through the CARS Program.
- Consumers should expect to conduct their deals at their dealership of choice, not on the Internet.
- Consumers should expect the dealers to provide their best estimate of the scrap value for their eligible trade-in vehicle. Dealers are allowed to deduct $50 from this value for their administrative costs.
- Consumers should expect that all information collected through the CARS Program will be kept confidential. Social Security numbers are not required for a CARS transaction.
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