Cash for Clunkers program is hitting the brakes

Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The time is winding down for the Cash for Clunker rebate program.  The Department of Transportation notified car dealers Thursday the program would end 8:00 Monday night.

The $3 billion program means there are less than four days left for car buyers to trade in their old cars to receive rebates ranging between $3,500 or $4,500.

The federal program is credited with driving up sales of new energy efficient cars and trucks within recent weeks and giving a much need boost the auto industry.

Cash for Clunkers started in July with $1 billion in federal money.  After the initial money ran out, another $2 billion was pumped into the program.

While the program has been good for those looking for a new car or truck, many automobile dealers are still waiting on reimbursement from the federal government for the rebates, so some are putting on the brakes earlier.

"It has been very cumbersome in terms of collecting the money from the government," said Stephenson Honda Manager Pat Koballa.  "We've collectively here in town, between the four franchises, we've completed about 150 transactions and we've been paid for eight of them."

You have until Saturday night to trade in your clunker at Stephenson Honda in Wilmington.  Koballa said the program has been a huge success, but there is a lot of paperwork that goes with it.

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