Tips and Tricks for Turning in Your Clunker for Cash (Government Cash)

A new government rebate program begins today -- it offers to help consumers trade in their old cars for more environmentally friendly ones. The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) was passed by Congress in June with hopes of boosting the economy and pushing sales of fuel-efficient vehicles.

Does your vehicle qualify to trade-in? Here are some of the guidelines:

- Cars that are eligible to trade in must be less than 25 years old. They must also be registered and insured in your name and get a combined 18 miles to the gallon or less. To see if your car gets the required miles per gallon, visit the Department of Energy's website ( click here).

- Your old car that you trade in will be worth a credit of $3,500 or $4,500 to apply toward the purchase or lease of your new car. The new vehicle must be one that is approved under the CARS program.

- If the new car you purchase gets an additional four miles per gallon or more, your voucher will be worth $3,500. If the new vehicle gets 10 miles per gallon or more, your voucher will be worth $4,500.

- If the dealer is advertising rebates or discounts, those can be applied in conjunction with the rebate.

- The program runs until November 1, 2009, or until authorized funds run out.

For more information about the program, visit the official website

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