DOT Agrees to Fix Cash for Clunkers Language

March 2, 2017

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold announced on Saturday, August 1, that the federal Department of Transportation has agreed to clarify language in the “cash for clunkers” or CARS program that currently excludes drivers in Wisconsin.

The cash for clunkers law, more correctly known as CARS, or the Car Allowance Rebate System, requires that a car be insured for a minimum of a year in order to qualify for a trade-in rebate of up to $4,500. According to Feingold, however, current law in Wisconsin does not require drivers to carry car insurance, which meant that roughly 15% of Wisconsin drivers were excluded from the program.

In a press release, Senator Feingold said that he’d spoken with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who agreed to the cash for clunkers fix so that affected Wisconsin drivers could get cash for clunkers.

Wisconsin has recently passed legislation that will require drivers to carry car insurance beginning June 1 of next year. Currently, New Hampshire is the only other state that does not have a mandatory insurance law. The CARS program began on Monday, and allows consumers to receive a tax credit of up to $4,500 if they trade in a qualified vehicle that gets 18 mpg or fewer, when purchasing a new, more fuel efficient vehicle.

According to Senator Feingold, the original allocation for the CARS program was $1 billion, but the U. S. House of Representatives has since approved $2 billion more. The Senate is scheduled to take up the measure next week.