We’ve reported frequently on the Cash-for-Clunkers program, in recent months. More formally known as the Car Allowance Rebate System, it’s loosely modeled after programs that have popped up around the world, effectively spurring sluggish demand for new automobiles.
The version finally passed by Congress is significantly different from what was considered in earlier proposals, leading to plenty of confusion among American consumers – as I’ve personally discovered during several recent radio talk show appearances.
The key difference is that the program that lawmakers approved no longer puts an emphasis on domestically-produced vehicles, and it really no longer is a bill designed to get older clunkers off the road. Just about any vehicle less than 25 years old will qualify. The emphasis, however, is still on fuel efficiency. The idea is to get motorists to trade-in on more fuel-efficient products. In fact, the better the mileage, the better the cash, as there are now two levels of credit, $3500 and $4500, buyers could qualify for.