Cash For Clunkers Bill Passes Senate

By David Thomas  on June 19, 2009

Late yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill including “Cash for Clunkers” legislation that offers up to $4,500 in cash vouchers to qualifying new-car buyers.

Similar bills have passed in Europe and spurred car sales soon after passing. This U.S. version has been watered down to include only $1 billion in funding instead of the original $4 billion. That means after the bill goes into effect — likely in August — the funding will only last until Oct. 1.

We will have much more on the bill later today, but a brief synopsis is below.


Passenger cars from the 1984 model year or later with a combined mpg rating of 18 or less are eligible. Owners could get a $3,500 voucher if they trade for a new car rated at least 4 mpg higher or $4,500 if they buy a car that gets 10 mpg more. The traded-in vehicle must be in working condition and owned by the recipient for at least a year.

SUVs, Pickups, Minivans

Vehicles from the 1984 model year or later that get 18 mpg or less combined mpg could earn a voucher for $3,500 if the new SUV, truck or minivan gets at least 2 mpg more than the old vehicle. Buyers can earn a $4,500 voucher if the new truck or SUV gets at least 5 mpg more.

Cash-for-clunkers bill passes, offers up to $4,500 for a new car (USA Today)

Car Buying Cash for Clunkers

Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David