HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - The cash for clunkers program has paved the way for drivers to get a great deal on a new car.
"My van was only worth about 12 hundred dollars now and so I'm trading it in for another car where I'll get back 45 hundred," said Steve Minus who is trading in his clunker.
But while the program has cars nearly flying off the lot, the money hasn't come as quickly for the car dealer.
"The dealers are taking on a bit of risk in floating these reimbursements while the federal government reimburses the individual dealers. There's some lag time in the approval or rejection stage," said Nick Scola, McGeorge Toyota.
Car dealers tell us that out of all the vendors that they are waiting on for payments, the federal government owes them the most and is the furthest behind on payment.
According to a survey by the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, more than 4000 cash for clunkers deals have been submitted to the federal government for reimbursement. 367 have been rejected while 387 have been approved. But only 115 of the deals approved across the state have actually been reimbursed since the program started. Nonetheless dealers are looking on the bright side.
"I have to make sure there are fewer cars out there when the snow flies. So if I have to wait for the money I'll take my chances and get the cars gone now," said Ted Linhart, Dominion Chevrolet.
The main reason for their deal getting rejected dealers say is because they need to prove that the deal meets the specific requirements for the program. Once they have that information they have to start the submission process over.