Car Allowance Rebate System

Expired: 08/24/2009

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The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) is a voluntary incentive program designed to encourage consumers to trade in older, less fuel-efficient cars and trucks for newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will administer the program. Consumers may receive $3,500 or $4,500 credit toward the purchase or lease of a new, qualified fuel-efficient vehicle at a participating dealership. The incentive amount depends on the type of vehicle purchased and the improvement in fuel economy of the purchased vehicle as compared to the eligible trade-in vehicle. In general, eligible trade-in vehicles must have a combined city/highway fuel economy rating of 18 miles per gallon or less, be in drivable condition, be less than 25 years old, and registered and insured for the full year prior to trade-in. The program will end November 1, 2009, or when funds authorized for the program are exhausted. For more information, including additional eligibility requirements, see the CARS website. (Reference Public Law 111-32, and 49 CFR 512 and 599)