Tuesday, August 18, 2009 VOLUME 4 ISSUE 11  
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"Cash for Clunkers" Program
Time is running out!

Outlined below are the guidelines for the "Cash for Clunkers" program that was launched on July 1, 2009. The program enables consumers to trade in older less efficient vehicles in exchange for a voucher that can be used towards the purchase of a new car or truck. Vouchers are worth either $3500 or $4500 depending on the fuel economy of the vehicle that is turned in and the new vehicle that is acquired. The program will be available for vehicles sold between July 1, 2009 and November 1, 2009.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is setting up a website - http://www.cars.gov/ - dedicated to the program.
The program is outlined below along with commonly asked questions.
Be sure to visit BernardiHonda.com to browse for your new car and use the "Cash for Clunkers Tool". It will enable you to select your trade from a list of older vehicles and then instantly identify which government credit you are eligible for based upon the new Honda that you are interested in buying.
GUIDELINES: Trade-In Qualification
  • Gets no more than 18 miles per gallon (mpg)
  • Was manufactured after 1984
  • Is in drivable condition
  • Was continuously insured to you for the last 12 months
  • If a work truck, was manufactured before 2002
GUIDELINES: New Vehicle Qualification

  • New previously unregistered car
  • Maximum Value to Qualify $45,000
  • Minimum MPG to qualify: 22
  • $3,500 Voucher - New car that gets at least 4 mpg higher than your trade-in
  • $4,500 Voucher - New car that gets at least 10 mpg higher than your trade-in.
Small Light-duty Pick-up trucks, MiniVans, SUVs (Category 1 Truck) ****
  • New previously unregistered light-duty truck
  • Minimum MPG to qualify: 18
  • $3,500 Voucher - New vehicle that gets at least 2 mpg higher* than your trade-in.
  • $4,500 Voucher - New vehicle that gets at least 5 mpg higher* than your trade-in. 
Large Light-duty Pick-up trucks and Vans (Category 2 Truck: 6,000 to 8,500 lbs)
  • New previously unregistered pick-up truck or van
  • Minimum MPG to qualify: 15
  • $3,500 Voucher - New truck that gets at least 1 mpg higher* than your trade-in.
  • $4,500 Voucher - New truck that gets at least 2 mpg higher* than your trade-in.
Work trucks (Category 3 Truck: 8,500 and 10,000 pounds)
  • New previously unregistered work truck
  • $3,500 Voucher - any new work truck


Can I receive a credit if I trade an SUV in for a more fuel efficient car?
Yes. You can trade an SUV in for a more fuel efficient car. The law does not specifiy that a car must be traded in for the purchase of a car or an SUV must be traded in for the purchase of an SUV. The law does, however, specify that the purchase of a class 2 truck such as the Ridgeline may have only a class 2 or class 3 truck as a trade-in.

Will I be eligible for the credit if I lease rather than purchase or finance my new
Yes. You are eligiable for the credit regardless of the method of payment used in purchasing your new vehicle.

Will I receive the fair market value of my car, as listed in KBB, Black Book, etc
in addition to the credit?
No. The law requires your trade-in vehicle to be destroyed. Therefore, the value you negotiate with the dealer for your trade-in vehicle isnot likely to exceed its scrap value. The law requires the dealer to disclose to you an estimate of the scrap value of your trade-in vehicle.

Does this program apply only to American Cars?
No. To be eligible for the credit, the trade may be imported or American and the new vehicle can be imported or american made.

I can't find the MPG rating for my work truck. What do I do?
Some trucks, such as work trucks, were never rated for fuel economy. For these trucks, age is the only criterion for determining whether they are eligible trade-in vehicles. If you have one of these trucks, it must be from model year 2001 or earlier, but also the date of manufacture must be less than 25 years from the date you trade it in, to be an eligible trade-in vehicle. Other restrictions may also apply.

I just traded my old car in June. Am I eligible for the credit?
No. The program starts on July 1. Prior purchases are not eligible.

Can I trade-in more than one "clunker" for a single new vehicle so I can get multiple
No. You are eligible for no more than one credit for each new car purchase.

Can I buy a really cheap older car and use it as a trade to get a rebate?
No. The trade must be registered to and insured by the person trading the car for at least the last 12 months.

Can I turn in an old car and take the credit myself rather than buying a new car?
No. The credit must be applied as partial payment to the purchase of a new vehicle.

Is the credit considered income by the state or federal government?
No. The credit is not considered as income by the state or federal government. THus, it is not taxable and it can not be used to determine benefits or assistance.

How does the program work?
  • Use the "Cash for Clunkers" tool on BernardiHonda.com to determine if your trade qualifies for a credit. If you are not sure, please call Bernardi Honda at 800-254-0013 and ask for a "Cash for Clunkers" program specialist.
  • When you visit Bernardi to make your purchase, drive your trade (it must be operable) and bring the title, registration and insurance papers showing continuous registration and insurance coverage of your trade for the past full year.
  • Bernardi will reduce the selling or lease price of the new Honda vehicle by the amount of the credit for which you are eligible. You don't have to wait for the government to take action!
  • Bernardi Honda will handle the submission of all required paperwork to NHTSA
  • NHTSA will audit the paperwork to verify that your sales transaction meets the requirements for a credit
  • About 10 days after paperwork submission, the NHTSA will issue a financial credit to Bernardi — assuming all program requirements have been met.

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