Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cash for Clunkers starts July 24 in Hawaii Kai

Cash for Clunkers, where owners can trade in low-mileage cars for cash, starts officially Friday, July 24 nationwide. The program gives $3,500 or $4,500 trade-in vouchers to customers who bring in their old vehicles to be junked. To qualify, cars must be 10 to 25 years old, get 18 miles per gallon or less and have been insured by the owner for at least a year.

The program, in effect since July 1, has been awaiting federal rules for implementation. Hawaii auto dealers are fervently hoping for a boost in car sales, and suggest owners visit to see if their vehicle qualifies. Car sales in Hawai'i have slipped by 31.5 percent in the first six months of 2009, compared with last year.

Most people who qualify will get at least a $3,500 voucher. Those who buy a new vehicle that gets 10 mpg or more than their clunker will receive $4,500. Dealers are required to provide proof of disposal of the clunkers at approved scrap-metal yards. So far, no scrap yards have been announced for dealers to take the cars to, nor is there any word on how to stay below the government's $1 billion allotment.

As reported by the Honolulu Advertiser, "Dave Rolf, executive director for Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association, was optimistic and complimented the speed of implementing the program since the act was signed on June 24.

"'I don't think in all my years I have seen a program come together this fast," Rolf said. "It's a great compliment to the people in federal government. When you look at how many moving parts are in a car and then how many cars there are, and then how many people are in America; and to get a program moving in 30 days?

"'That's a lot of moving parts.'"

Since we live on an island, with limited resources and disposal facilities, and our gas price is the highest in the country, hopefully this program will be a huge success on Oahu.

Contact me for relocation information for Hawaii Kai, and other innovative programs now in place to keep Hawaii Green.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

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