Ray LaHood, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, announced that the popular and controversial program, for trading in gas guzzlers, Cash For Clunkers program will cease on Monday, August 24th at 8 p.m. EDT. If you are in the market for a new car and have one that gets low gas mileage for a trade-in, hurry up and get that new car this weekend. Cash For Clunkers, or The Car Allowance Rebate System, has accelerated demand for autos in a condensed time period, filling auto showrooms with buyers and revitalizing manufacturing plants. As a result of the program, automotive inventory has been depleted and both General Motors and Ford are ramping up production, adding shifts and rehiring laid off workers.
As of today, the Cash For Clunkers program has recorded more than 457,000 dealer transactions worth $1.9 billion in rebates. The program has provided rebates of up to $4,500 when people turned in their clunkers for fuel-efficient vehicles. Most consumers have turned in trucks and SUV’s in exchange for passenger cars, with an improved gas mileage of about 60 percent. Secretary LaHood said the Monday night end date will allow car dealers and buyers plenty of time to finalize purchases and submit applications for rebate from the remainder of the $3 billion provided by Congress. Based on conservative estimates of valid transactions so far, DOT analysts have projected that there is enough money to continue accepting submissions until the Monday deadline.
Applications for rebates will not be accepted after 8 p.m. EDT Monday and dealers should not make further sales without receiving all the necessary paperwork from their customers. Dealers are also strongly advised to submit complete applications, which will expedite payment. Dealers will still be able to resubmit rejected applications after the deadline. The Department of Transportation is continuing to expand the number of people processing dealer applications for rebates by adding federal workers to the outside contractors currently at work. What will happen after the popular program ends remains to be seen. Will there be sudden drop-off in sales or will auto sales continue at a healthy pace after the government-subsidized program ends? Did you take advantage of the program? Tell us about your experience with Cash For Clunkers.by Staff Writer