“Cash for Clunkers” Program– The Best Option for Ditching Your Used Vehicle?
You may have heard of a new Federal program called “Cash for Clunkers” -now set to go into affect around July 24. The program offers used car owners $3,500 to $4,500 if they trade in their gas guzzling vehicles for new ones that are safer, more fuel efficient, and cause less pollution. Supporters of the program claim that aside from the environmental benefits it will result in, it will also help struggling auto dealers such as Chrysler and GM boost sales.
In order for you to qualify for the voucher (which by the way, would not be sent to you directly, but as an electronic transfer to the dealership you would purchase your new car from) your “clunker” must be registered and in use for at least a year and have a combined city/highway fuel –economy rating of 18 or less MPG. Your used car can then be traded in for a new car priced at $45,000 or less, and if it is rated 4 MPG or better, the voucher awarded would be $3,500. If your new car gets at least 10 MPG or better than the old, the voucher awarded would be$ 4,500.
If you own a truck, SUV or van, the rules are more complicated. For details see, USA Today article: http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2009-05-11-chrysler-gm-cash-clunkers_N.htm
Though “Cash for Clunkers” seems appealing to some used car dealers looking to trade their lemons in for a brand new ride, it is not the only reasonable option for people looking to rid of their old car, and for used car owners experiencing economic hardship, the voucher may not help their situation anyhow.
As an alternative to the controversial “Clunkers” program, the National Kidney Foundation offers “Kidney Cars”, a fast and easy way for people to dispose of their unwanted vehicles. The process takes only 10 minutes and can be completed online at www.kidneycars.org. Cars donated to the environmentally-friendly program are sold at auction or for parts.
Kidney Cars saves lives— from the more than 35,000 vehicles donated per year, 13 million of that goes into the Foundation’s programs in research, early detection, patient services, and education. In addition, car, van, SUV, truck and boat donors may also be able to reap some financial rewards in the form of a tax deduction, if it can be itemized on their tax return. About 84% of Americans who donate to the program are able to reap a charitable deduction.
So, considering both the Cash for Clunkers and the Kidney Cars options, if you were looking to get rid of your used vehicle, which would you be more likely to choose?