Cash for Clunkers Program Gets High Marks From Congress

The Cash for Clunkers program would take old cars off the road in exchange for cash.

| May 2009 Web

  • Cash for Clunkers would take older cars in exchange for a $4,500 car rebate.
    Photo By Dave 7/Courtesy Flickr

Cash for Clunkers is a program that takes older cars in exchange for a rebate that consumers can spend on a newer car. President Obama backs the proposed bill and the Senate plans to sponsor comparable programs.   

Congress has reviewed the Cash for Clunkers program since last July and is analyzing the program’s logistics. If the proposed program passes, people who own older cars could receive a $4,500 voucher to purchase a fuel-efficient car. The program is like a stimulus plan for the public with three objectives: reduce pollution, equally distribute cash among different income brackets and assist the car industry by encouraging the sales of new and used cars.

The government would take polluting, old cars off the roads, and scrap the vehicles in exchange for cash. With the exception of well-kept classic cars, many older cars are in decaying condition. California released a study stating that cars 13 years and older are responsible for 25 percent of daily driving; yet, old cars account for 75 percent of the total automobile pollution in the state. Taking old cars off the roads will reduce carbon dioxide emissions, decreasing greenhouse gases.   

Although GM and Chrysler filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, or financial restructuring, Cash for Clunkers will still help the auto industry. The government will take a clunker and in return the owner will receive a voucher for a new or used car. Congress has not set a maximum car age limit.  

Typically, older cars belong to lower income brackets rather than the wealthy. By purchasing clunkers, the government will give low-income groups the advantage of owning a reliable and fuel-efficient car.  

The program has a few bumps to work out. Congress is currently discussing topics such as the age of the old car and the amount of the voucher and the voting date has yet to be finalized.

More about cars

• Car sharing helps out the environment and your budget. Read about how residents of major citities are participating in car sharing organizations.

• The Kelley Blue Book goes green! Find out how this classic resource is now reaching out to consumers interested in fuel-efficient, sustainable cars.

• The classic British Mini Cooper now comes in an electric version. Read about how the electric car fits into the MINIMALISM Campagin.



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