'Cash for Clunkers' program a big hit?

GLENDALE, Calif. Tony Dell'Orco and his family got in their new car after trading in a 15-year-old SUV for a high-mileage /*Toyota*/. The $4,500 rebate from the "/*Cash for Clunkers*/" program made it happen.

"We have the money and we do to it. That's it," said Dell'Orco.

President Obama signed the legislation authorizing the $1 billion program, which will go through November, in attempt to get gas-guzzlers off the road.

The program asks the following criteria:

Passenger cars

  • New car must have a fuel efficiency of 22 MPG
  • 4 MPG improvement from old car = $3,500 voucher
  • 10 MPG improvement from old car = $4,500 voucher

SUVs and light-duty trucks

  • New car must have fuel efficiency of 18 MPG
  • 2 MPG improvement from old car = $3,500 voucher
  • 5 MPG improvement from old car = $4,500 voucher

Toyota of Santa Monica started selling under the "Clunkers" program Saturday. The dealership sold 102, doubling normal sales. Of the cars sold, 52 were Prius hybrids.

Burgee /*Jeeps*/ reported a 40 percent increase in sales.

"I'll look at anyone and talk to anyone. I'm looking for the best deal. And I want the quality and the warrantee too. So I want to be sure that Chrysler is going to be around to service my warrantee," said Jim Chabrin, who was shopping for a car Monday.

If your trade in is worth more than $4,500, then the "Cash for Clunkers" program may not be worth it.

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