Some congressional lawmakers are getting behind a plan to pay folks to get rid of their older gas-guzzling vehicles and replace them with more fuel-efficient rides.
They want the provision tied in with the $819-billion economic stimulus bill that passed the House. The Senate will take up that bill soon.
Backers of the car trade-in plan say it would help the economy and the environment.
The old gas guzzlers would be scrapped.
"We're for any program that seeks to boost consumer confidence and get people into showrooms," Bailey Wood, legislative affairs director for the National Automobile Dealers Association told the Detroit Free Press. But "a cash for clunkers plan is an uphill fight because of the need to get industry consensus."
Under the plan, if your ride gets less than 18 miles per gallon, you get a voucher of up to $4,500 toward a new vehicle. Vehicles from model year 2002 and newer would get the full $4,500. Older vehicles would get less.
The voucher could help buy a new or used vehicle that gets 25% better fuel economy than federal standards, or be swapped for bus and rail fares. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimates the plan would scrap 575,124 vehicles in its first full year at a cost of $1.1 billion, while generating 270,877 sales of new cars and trucks.