Trade in your clunker for cash

Reported by Casey Roman - blog|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Federal Government started a new program Monday called "Cash for Clunkers" to get people into new cars.

If your car is less than 25 years old and gets under 18 miles per gallon, the government will give you around $3,500 - $4,500 to trade your vehicle in for a new one.

The $1 billion program is designed to encourage drivers to buy new cars and start cleaning out the lots.

"In the environment we're in right now, a program like this is heaven sent," said Benny Dominguez of AutoNation.

This program could be the boost that US automakers are looking for, but some people say this program is the clunker.

Seirra Club Chair Janice Wilson said Cash for Clunkers is a missed opportunity to educate consumers.

"I think it may do more harm than good, in that it says we're not really serious about increasing gas mileage," said Wilson.

Wilson said program qualifications like the 1  mile per gallon increase in fuel efficiency for large trucks is hardly an improvement.

"You can trade in your old gas guzzler car and pretty much get another gas guzzler car," said Wilson.

The program will run until November 1 or until rebates run dry.

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