Finally, an idea that has potential to help consumers buy cars!
We’ve heard endless stories about the government helping the automakers and the automakers offering vouchers to employees… but up until now there’s been very little help for you and me in buying a new car.
And really, nothing’s going to help automakers more than making it easier for us to buy cars.
A “Cash for Clunkers” plan has been introduced by Representative Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) and co-sponsored by Representatives Bruce Braley (D-IA), John Dingell (D-MI), and Candice Miller (R-MI). Officially known by the convenient acronym Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Act, it would provide vouchers of between $3,000 and $5,000 to consumers who trade in vehicles at least eight years old for ones that get better fuel economy.
A few limitations are attached to the proposed bill, including a stipulation that the new car must be assembled in North America and achieve 27-30 mpg on the highway. Also, the car must cost less than $35,000.
I’ve been known to voice my opposition to federal bailout money for the automakers, but this is an idea I can get behind. It accomplishes three things:
- Stimulates the economy by investing in citizens, not companies
- Helps convince consumers to buy from companies who build cars in North America (not limited to the Big Three)
- Has a positive impact on the environment by getting older cars off the road (traded-in cars must be scrapped under the CARS act, not resold).
According to Consumer Reports, a similar measure in Germany has resulted in a 21% increase in auto sales. That’s something automakers in the U.S. would love to see!
If your car was at least 8 years old and the government gave you $5,000 toward a new car, would you trade in your current car?