WASHINGTON, August 4 – Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the wildy popular “cash-for-clunkers” program should be extended.
The Senate this week may take up House-passed legislation adding $2 billion to the program to give rebates to people who turn in old vehicles for newer and more fuel-efficient models. The program offers the chance to take up to $4,500 off the sticker price of cars that get better fuel mileage than the polluting, gas-guzzlers drivers are trading in.
“This is an example of a very successful stimulus program that is working,” Sanders said. “By helping consumers and car dealers and carmakers, this is a program that is creating jobs and protecting the environment. The Senate should keep this incentive program going.”
July auto sales figures showed that the program helped cut stocks of unsold vehicles at many dealerships to their lowest levels in years.
In the future, Sanders added, the ‘”cash-for-clunkers’ program should be made even stronger by gearing it toward more energy-efficient vehicles. Additionally, he said, the program should focus taxpayer dollars on benefitting U.S. workers and to soften any potential effects on the used car market.
Only new vehicles qualify for the rebate on trade-ins of cars that are less than 25 years old. In general, vehicles being traded in must get 18 or less MPG (some large pick-up trucks and cargo vans have different requirements). The program was slated to run through Nov 1, or whenever the funds are spent, whichever comes first.
Questions about how the Car Allowance Rebate System works are answered on the U.S. Transportation Department Web site at www.cars.gov.