Cash for Clunkers Ends

The car lots tell the story. Toyota, Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford dealerships had, basically, bare car lots Monday morning because so many people have bought or leased new vehicles.

The CARS program, or Car Allowance Rebate System, which popularly became known as 'Cash for Clunkers', offered $3500 and $4500 rebates for people who traded their old vehicle, that had to meet certain eligibility requirements, to purchase or lease a new vehicle that was more fuel-efficient. The dealers would recoup that money from the government.

"We've been wanting to buy a new truck," said Tiffany Frautschi, a Cash for Clunkers participant. "We've been holding out waiting for the proverbial 'right time' and now seems to be that right time."

Over the weekend, about a dozen were sold at Nelson Hall Chevrolet.

"I would say it's gone up 100% over what it would've been without the Clunker program," said Steve Hall, general manager of Nelson Hall Chevrolet.

"We've sold between 70 and 80, and we're going to get them all together right now," said Robert Lee, general sales manager of John O'Neil Johnson Toyota.

With so many deals made, officials say what has caused the most concern during the process is the amount of paperwork.

"It's been a headache," said Milburn VanVeckhoven, owner of New South Ford Nissan. "The lady who works down here and takes care of that, she's had to spend a lot of nights and being here late in the evening having to submit deals to the government's Web site late at night when there's not a backlog and other people are not trying to get on."

"It's been a lot of paperwork. It's almost a paperwork nightmare, but we're working through it and we're glad we have it and can do it," said Lee Allen, general manager of Johnson Dodge KIA.

Dealers told Newscenter 11 they feel confident that they will be reimbursed by the government, but that it might take some time.


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