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How to Cash in Your Clunker Before Monday

By Neetal Parekh on August 21, 2009 1:41 PM

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced yesterday that the popular government car trade-in program, CARS also known as Cash for Clunkers, will end Monday, August 24th 2009.

Answering dealer complaints of slow rebate-processing, turnaround time, and technical difficulties, the Department of Transportation reiterated that the program has been an overall success with 457,476 new cars sold and rebate applications submitted, totaling upwards of $1.9 billion in new car sales.  It also claims that it has processed at least 1/3 of the rebate applications and is working to round out the rest.   To alleviate the cash flow problems of dealers waiting for their CARS rebate checks, GM and Chrysler have agreed to provide cash advances to hold the dealers over until the government payments come in.

We have been close on the heels of the program since CARS kicked off in late July, covering Cash for Clunkers' lightening success and the federal government's eleventh-hour $2 billion infusion of fast-cash to keep CARS alive.   And though the program may be ending, the car industry is not likely to be run back into a ditch.  The boost in demand for new cars is thought to continue, though at a slower pace than before the auto industry slowdown. 

So, how can you cash in your clunker before the CARS program ends?

  • Get your rebate application in before 8:00 pm Eastern Standard time on Monday. 

And considering the number of creative CARS scams that have emerged to take advantage of the program, be ready to prove that:

  • you have owned your clunker for at least one year (proof of title); and
  • the car has been insured for one year 


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