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The Car Allowance Rebate System And Scams to Avoid

The Car Allowance Rebate System was signed into law last week, but there are already scammers out there trying to phish information from consumers looking to trade in their old cars. Here are some things you need to know to avoid these scams:

  • If you come across any website that uses the term “cash for clunkers”, it’s not official by any means.
  • The program will not get started until late July or early August, because regulators have up to 30 days to figure out a system for distributing and collecting vouchers.
  • Avoid websites and “dealers” that ask for personal information or ask you to pre-register for the program.

Information about the real program:

  • Allows up to $4,500 for a qualified trade-in to purchase a new car that gets better gas mileage than the trade-in.
  • The purchase price of the new car must be less than $45,000
  • Trade-in vehicles must be newer than 1984, get no better than 18 miles per gallon, and be registered and insured for the past year.
  • You won’t get any more than $4,500 from the dealership, so make sure that your trade-in isn’t worth more than that. Don’t apply for the program unless you know that the car is worth less than $4,500 on the private market.

Here is a chart for the Car Allowance Rebate System qualifications. And remember, the mileage you get on a daily basis does not matter. The program will judge mpg based on the government data at FuelEconomy.gov.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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