$4,500 for your clunker? Senate passes bill to help trash gas guzzlers

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Photo by jim orsini
In an effort to convert more drivers to fuel-efficient vehicles and jumpstart the auto industry again, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that would give drivers up to $4,500 if they trade in their gas-guzzling clunker.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law.

Does your car qualify? It's all about gas mileage. Check out the details below.

Details from the Associated Press:
Here's how the plan works: Car owners could get a voucher worth $3,500 if they traded in a vehicle getting 18 miles per gallon or less for one getting at least 22 mpg. The voucher would grow to $4,500 if the new car's mileage was 10 mpg higher than the old vehicle. The mpg figures are listed on the car's window sticker.

Owners of sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks or minivans getting 18 mpg or less could receive a voucher for $3,500 if their new truck or SUV got at least 2 mpg higher than their old vehicle. The voucher would increase to $4,500 if the mileage of the new truck or SUV was at least 5 mpg higher than the older vehicle.

The program was aimed at replacing older vehicles -- built in model year 1984 or later -- and would not make financial sense for someone owning a vehicle with a trade-in value greater than $3,500 or $4,500.
The Pioneer Press has a widget to help you figure out what your car would be worth. Check it out here.
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