Cash 4 Clunkers Offers Up to $4,500 Rebate

By G. Meyer and P. Hedlund

Mountain commuters feeling pain at the pump may benefit from a billion-dollar federal “cash for clunkers” program—officially named the Car Allowance Rebate System or CARS—intended to jump-start the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles.

Dealers say rules for the program were issued on Friday, July 24. Consumers may qualify for up to $4,500 in discounts on the purchase of a new, fuel-efficient car— depending on the vehicle they are trading in.

If you have a 1984 or newer gas guzzler that is rated no higher than 18 miles per gallon in combined city-highway driving, you are likely to qualify.

“We’ve had dozens of takers on this program already,” said Ted Nicholas, President and CEO of Three Way Chevrolet in Bakersfield. “Another great benefit from this program is that sales tax is reduced by lowering the sale price of the vehicle, so in addition to thousands in discounts, buyers can save up to $400 in sales tax,” he said.

Hassan Halevy of Sangera Subaru in Bakersfield says they are already selling vehicles under the program. He suggests visiting www. fueleconomy.gov to see your car’s government-assigned combined fuel economy rating. “This is the rating the dealer must use to qualify your discount,” Halevy said. “I think it’s a great program.”

The CARS program will last until November 1, or until the money runs out.

Full details are available at www.cars.gov.

This is part of the July 31, 2009 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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