CARS program kicks off - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

CARS program kicks off

Press Release from the Mississippi Attorney General's Office...

Jackson, MS - Attorney General Jim Hood reminds consumers that beginning today, they may take advantage of a government program, CARS, aimed at assisting them to purchase or lease a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

The CAR Allowance Rebate System (CARS), also referred to as Cash for Clunkers, is a $1 billion federal government program designed to help consumers buy or lease a more environmentally-friendly vehicles from a participating dealer when they trade in a less fuel-efficient car or truck. Beginning July 27, consumers will be able to take advantage of this program and receive a $3,500 or $4,500 discount from the car dealer when they trade in their old vehicle and purchase or lease a new one. Consumers do not need to register anywhere or at anytime for this program.

Consumers should familiarize themselves with the eligibility requirements associated with CARS:

  • Your vehicle must be less than 25 years old on the trade-in date
  • Only purchase or lease of new vehicles qualify
  • Generally, trade-in vehicles must get 18 or less MPG (some very large pick-up trucks and cargo vans have different requirements)
  • Trade-in vehicles must be registered and insured continuously for the full year preceding the trade-in

You don't need a voucher; dealers will apply a credit at purchase. Program runs through Nov 1, 2009 or when the funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.

The program requires the scrapping of your eligible trade-in vehicle, and that the dealer disclose to you an estimate of the scrap value of your trade-in. The scrap value, however minimal, will be in addition to the rebate, and not in place of the rebate.

Scam artists may try to trick consumers into 'registering or 'pre-qualifying their car or signing up on a website for the program. Like we've seen with economic stimulus scams and common IRS scams, this is another attempt to get consumers to give their personal information, advised Attorney General Hood.

The only official website is www.cars.gov . Consumers do not have to pre-qualify or register for the program, so anyone who tells them they do are likely trying to scam them. Only dealers must register.

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