PALM DESERT – Trade in your old car and get a rebate for a new one.
“I think it’s a good deal, especially in this economy,” says Ethan Stone.
Well, it may sound better than it is. Through the “Cash for Clunkers” program consumers can buy a new car, and the government will chip in.
“I wonder if this is this a gimmick or if it will really help,” says Brent Faulkner.
Here are the basic guidelines. The vehicle must be a 1984 or newer, and get 18 miles to the gallon or less. It must be in drivable condition and registered in your name. Those who qualify can earn 35 or 45 hundred dollars in exchange for their gas guzzler, but there are some details to consider.
“There is a lot of fine print,” says Spencer Smith.
The program is designed to boost struggling auto sales and to improve the environment. However, critics say cash for clunkers doesn’t do either one.
“There is a lot of energy wasted in the production of a new car,” says Smith.
The “Cash for Clunkers” offer only applies when buying a new car.
“Not everyone can afford to buy a new car,” says Faulkner.
Some say it’s not wise or environmentally friendly to take old, but good, serviceable vehicles off the road before it’s lifespan is up.
“To take some good cars off the road is ridiculous for just 35 hundred dollars,” says Faulkner.
“It seems wasteful,” says Smith.
“You are never going to get all of the old cars off the road, some people like old cars,” says Faulkner.
Some say the real deal is in those old cars, not cash for clunkers.
“All of my cars are used,” says Smith. ” Cars just depreciate once you drive off the lot, you save with used cars.”
The government estimates, the ” Cash for Clunkers” program will generate about 250 thousand dollars in sales on new vehicles. For more information on the fine print of the program, visit http://www.cars.gov/.