On Wednesday, legislation introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate proposed paying consumers to stop driving super-polluting vehicles.
Called “cash for clunkers,” the law would pay Americans on a sliding scale if they hand over a car for scrap. Qualifying vehicles are those that got less than 18 miles per gallon when new. Drivers would not receive cash, but instead would get a voucher for up to $4,500 toward the purchase of a new or used vehicle that exceeds federal fuel efficiency targets by 25 percent or more.
Alternatively, people could choose to receive a voucher toward public transit fares.
The voucher scale would be this:
- 2002 or newer – $4,500 voucher for a new vehicle; $3,000 for a used car or transit fare
- 1999-2001 vehicles – $3,000 for a new vehicle
- 1998 or older – $2,000 for a new vehicle
Legislators envision the program lasting for four years. Get the full scoop here.
You might already qualify
Some people don’t have to wait for the legislation to pass. Some U.S. states (Texas and California, for instance) will pay consumers to stop driving those inefficient cars. Canada might give you a bike. See this link for more information, then search for your own region’s policies.