August 23, 2009

Car buyers rush to meet clunker deadline

Auto dealers across the United States were busy this weekend in the final hours of the Cash for Clunkers program.

For buyers to be eligible for rebates of up to $4,500, dealers must have the paper work in by 6 p.m. Monday.

Allison and Matthew Barton told The New York Times they drove their 1994 Chevrolet Tahoe from Baltimore to Jim Ellis Chevrolet in Chamblee, Ga. They had to go to Georgia because the Tahoe's title is held by Barton's father. They said they made a last-minute decision after because the SUV needed new tires and the air conditioning quit.

We were like, it's time, Allison Barton said.

To qualify under the program, trade-ins must get less than 18 miles to the gallon. The U.S. Transportation Department says Ford Explorers, Ford F150 trucks, Jeep Cherokees, Chevrolet Blazers and Dodge Caravans lead the list of trade-ins.

Some dealers had already stopped selling cars under the program because they had run out of stock or were overwhelmed with paper work on deals already made.