U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday, June 25, that his department stands ready to implement a new buyer incentive program signed into law by President Obama that will help consumers pay for new, more fuel-efficient vehicles when they trade-in a less fuel-efficient car or truck.
“At this important time for the industry, we will help to boost automobile and truck sales while putting vehicles on the road that are safer, pollute less and get more miles to the gallon,” LaHood said.
Under the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), buyers stand to receive up to $4,500 toward the purchase or lease of a new car or truck that meets the necessary criteria:
The purchaser does not receive the money directly from DOT; instead, the dealer reduces the purchase or lease price by the allowed amount, and the government reimburses the dealer for that amount. To achieve the objective of removing older less-efficient vehicles from the roads, vehicles traded under this program will have to be permanently disabled and/or scrapped.
The incentive program begins within 30 days of Obama’s signing of the bill Thursday, June 25. The final day for an eligible purchase or lease is Nov. 1 or when DOT exhausts the funds set aside for the program, whichever occurs first. The credit is not retroactive prior to the start of the program and cannot be applied toward the purchase of used vehicles.
CARS will be implemented by USDOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Consumers can learn more about CARS or the gasoline mileage attained by individual vehicles; go to www.cars.gov or call NHTSA’s Auto Hotline at 888-327-4236.