Government's Cash For Clunkers Program Explained

Wednesday, July 22nd 2009, 1:49 pm
By: News On 6

By Latoya Silmon, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- If you drive a gas guzzler, the government wants it off the road and it's willing to pay. 

The Cash for Clunkers program is gearing up nationwide and thousands of dollars are up for grabs.

So how does it work, and who really benefits? 

After months of talk, it's time for the federal government to put its money to use.

If you drive a clunker or inefficient vehicle you could get up to $4,500 for your trade.  But there's a catch, you have to be eligible. 

Your car or truck must be a 1984 or newer model that gets no more than 18 miles to the gallon.  And it has to have been insured and in your name for at least a year. 

If your car or truck fits the bill you can go to any dealership in the country and trade it in for a new car as long as it gets at least 22 miles per gallon. 

If you increase mileage by 4 miles per gallon you'll get the minimum $3,500. 

Increasing mileage by 10 miles per gallon earns the maximum rebate of $4,500. 

SUV's and trucks have a different standard. 

Read all about the program at

Bill Knight owns a Ford dealership in Tulsa and says the Cash for Clunkers program is one people should take advantage of. 

"I think the benefit is clearly for the consumer.  What we've seen is a customer that comes in with a 1992 Ford truck with 250,000 miles that would be worth $500.  All of a sudden that vehicle is worth $4,500 if they trade it in for example a Ford Escape," said Bill Knight. 

It's a first come, first served program.  The government has set aside a billion dollars and the program will end  as soon as it runs out or November 1st, whichever comes first.