Is your car a clunker?

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A consumer alert for those of you driving gas guzzlers! The government wants you to get rid of them, and it's putting up some cash to make the process easier.

How does $4,500 sound? It could go a long way to help you buy a new car. But while the government wants to help you get rid of your gas guzzling vehicle, they aren't just giving this cash away.

There is plenty of evidence for Tanya Sperling to make the case that her Hyundai Elentra can be called a clunker.

"This is where I hit a guardrail driving on 295," said Tanya.

Tanya would like to take advantage of the government's program in part because at this stage in her life buying a new car seems almost impossible.

"I just graduated from college, I don't really have a job yet and I am going to graduate school and I just don't know how much longer this car is going to hold up," she said.

Tanya's car may look and drive like a clunker, but it may not fall into the category eligible for the credit.

Not all the vehicles are considered clunkers. An old truck for instance probably served someone well, but it takes a lot of gas to keep it on the road, and it is the exact vehicle the government wants out of service. And gas mileage is the first place to look to see if your potential clunker meets the government standards.

It must get only 18 miles per gallon or less. It also can't be more than 25 years old and it must be in working condition. Once you figure out if you are eligible, the rest is up to your dealer.

"It's not a tax credit, you don't have to wait for a rebate in the mail," said Nick Scola from McGeorge Toyota. "That rebate comes right off the MSRP of the vehicle."

It's an opportunity for both consumers and car dealers at a time when the industry needs it the most.

If you like to learn more about this program and see if your car is eligible, just click here.

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