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"Cash for Clunkers" Ends Monday


The federally funded program “Cash for Clunkers” is ending Monday, which means car dealerships around Springfield are expecting a rush of business this weekend. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.

The Obama administration set aside $3 billion for car dealerships around the country to pay consumers extra cash to turn in their "clunkers," so they could purchase more fuel-efficient cars.

The program has been going since July 24th and the last day to trade in a ‘clunker’ is Monday.

Car dealerships around Springfield say the program has boosted their business and this weekend will not be any different.

John Smittle is the director of advertising for Reliable Chevrolet in Springfield.

He says the program has brought in more car buyers, than they’ve seen in years.

“It’s been great. It has definitely done its job here. In fact, Reliable Chevrolet was number one in the nation for several days in the program and we’re still number three in the nation as far as reported sales as of today,” Smittle said.

If a customer brings in an old car that meets the qualifications, they can receive up to $4,500 off a new car.

The government then sends the dealership a rebate for that money.

But several car dealerships are worried they won’t get their rebates back from the government.

Smittle says he isn’t worried about the government not paying, but he is worried about getting all the paperwork done in time to get the rebate.

“We’re in the same boat as everyone else. We’re not seeing a lot of checks really quick, but we’re working on it. We have been paid on a couple of vehicles already and we’ve got several more to get paid on and that’s what we’re working on right now,” Smittle said.

He says workers at Reliable Chevrolet are gearing up for a busy weekend because it is the last weekend to trade in “clunkers.”

“Now that it is ending a lot faster than most people expected, I think all of those people who are on the fence are going to in here in a hurry to get in and get the deals done. Yeah, we’re expecting a big rush, definitely tomorrow. We’ll see some today and then of course on Monday it will be all those who didn’t get it done on Saturday,” Smittle said.

Smittle says if the government decides to do “Cash for Clunkers” again, Reliable Chevrolet will definitely participate.

For more information on the “Cash for Clunkers” program, including the government’s definition of a “clunker,” you can visit our website:

For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.