Apparently buoyed by the success of the scrappage concept overseas, the U. S. government has unveiled details of its plan to persuade owners of "gas-guzzling" cars to exchange them for greener ones. Hey, there could be some money in it for you...
Everyone knows by now the auto industry has suffered worldwide from the economic downturn, and here in the States the results of which have pushed two of the big three U. S. auto firms into bankruptcy protection.
What to do? Throw government money at the problem, of course!
The government is fueling a car scrappage program (dubbed “scheme” by the Europeans) with $1 billion in incentives, providing vouchers worth up to $4,500 for people scrapping vehicles that do no better than 18 miles per gallon.
There are a lot of rules, though. You must buy a new car with a rating of at least 22 mpg or a light truck that manages at least 18 mpg. Vehicles to be traded in should be drivable, less than 25 years old and have been insured and registered to their owners for at least a year. The replacement vehicle must be brand-new and should have a retail price of no more than $45,000. And, in order to qualify for the vouchers, you must visit the official Car Allowance Rebate System website (www.cars.gov) to find a list of approved dealers.
Still, it might not be a bad idea. Similar “schemes” in Europe have helped ailing firms sell more cars. Witness: sales of new cars across Europe rose for the first time in 14 months in June. New registrations across 28 European nations rose by 2.4% last month from a year ago, the European Automotive Manufacturers' Association said. And Germany, one of the first countries to pay drivers to trade in old cars, led the gains, with registrations up 41%. In the UK, the rate of decline in new car registrations has slowed, according to previously released figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
"Oil is a non-renewable resource and we cannot sustain our current rate of use indefinitely. Using it wisely now allows us time to find alternative technologies and fuels that will be more sustainable," so says the website.
So check out the website. After all, who couldn’t use an extra $4,500?
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