Dealers prepare to trade cash for clunkers

By Rebecca Powers - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - How would you like $4,500 toward a new car? If the car you drive was built in 1984 or more recently, and you find a new car you like that gets better gas mileage, you could get a lot of money from the government that you won't have to pay back.

It's part of a new billion dollar program called Cash For Clunkers.

"Absolutely thumbs up. We're looking very forward to it," said Steve May with Champion Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Gulfport.

The folks at Champion are looking forward to the federal Cash for Clunkers program so much, they wanted to catch everyone's eyes and attention by throwing an old gas guzzler into a dumpster. It is certainly turning heads.

"Bang for a buck. People come up, What is that? Absolutely, it's really great fun. People don't know what's going on. We had people come out all day on Saturday taking pictures of it."

May is excited about their promotion and the opportunity for consumers to get into newer, safer cars, with fewer maintenance costs.

"Less repairs for the customer. It's just a good, good deal. If everything qualifies, it's gonna be a great thing."

To qualify for a $3,500 voucher, the trade in car must get 18 miles a gallon or less, and the new car must get 22 miles per gallon or more. If the new car gets 10 miles per gallon more than what you are trading in, you get $4,500. And the trade in car must be 25 years or younger.

The vouchers would come from the car dealers. The dealerships must then crush or shred your old car and show the government it's been recycled.

"It takes away some of the gas guzzlers, some of the pollutants in the air, makes for a greener United States, a greener coast."

Congress has passed the law and the President has signed it. Now dealers and consumers are waiting for the rules to be finalized by July 24th.

"When they are written, we expect a boom in business. We have a lot of phone calls and a lot of people stopping by for information and we got loads of information. All they got to do is stop by, all car dealers for that matter."

To learn more about the program, or for updates as new information is added, visit www.cars.gov.

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