Consumers Have Questions About Cash For Clunkers Incentive

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

There's plenty of hype surrounding the federal Cash for Clunker's program.

"I think it's a cool idea," Lee Brege of Lansing said. "How fiscally responsible it is, I don't know."

"I've heard you trade in your old car for a new one that gets 10 miles per gallon better and you get $4,500." Becky Ledesma of Holt said.

The government will release the official rules on Friday. Dealers have a general idea of how it will all work -- calling it a win-win.

"Anything that helps sell cars and is a great incentive for customers is a good idea," Ralph Shaheen of Shaheen Chevrolet said. "The customer gets a great down payment, it makes ownership less, it helps everybody."

But consumers aren't completely sold, saying they still have questions.

"People don't know that you have to buy a new car," Ledesma said. "They don't know how much money it is for, they just don't have much information."

The government is using this web site: www.cars.gov to answer the hundreds of questions they've been getting about the program. A spokesperson tells News Ten they've had about 2 million hits to the site since June.

The site has links to frequently asked questions, links to car qualifications, and how much money you could get toward a new car.

Ralph Shaheen said he's doing his part to inform customers.

"You must own your car for at least a year, it has to be insured," he said. "You can't just go out and buy an old clunker."

Because he says, this incentive isn't the ultimate answer, but it could help shift the auto industry back into gear.

The government has set aside $1 billion for the program -- the incentive lasts until November 1st.


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