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Government hopes to get car sales in gear

READ MORE: Government hopes to get car sales in gear
While cars sit idle on sales lots throughout the country, Washington lawmakers are taking steps to get the car industry rolling again. The government already slashed sales tax in all 50 states. In North Carolina that tax is three percent of the car’s purchase price. So, if you buy a $20,000 car and get $5,000 for your trade in, you save the sales tax on $15,000 dollars, or about $450. The credit is only available on new models, and will come back to you at tax time. “Offering an extra $500 or $1,000 off the price of a car in the form of a tax credit is great, and I think it will get some consumers to move,” explained financial planner Ross Marino. The Senate is also considering a bill called Cash for Clunkers. It would essentially pay car owners to trade in their old ride, with some restrictions. You have to have owned the car for at least one year, the car has to be made between 1984 and 2001, and average less than 19 miles per gallon according to EPA fuel ratings. Better fuel ratings will mean better incentives for new car buyers. Owners would get $3,500 if the new car is at least four miles per gallon better, and $4,500 if it's 10 miles per gallon or better. “I think this may be the best piece of legislation to really move through some of the inventory the car dealers are holding,” said Marino. The government is doing its part to try and provide some incentives to buy a new car, but they're not alone. Dealerships like Jeff Gordon Chevrolet here in Wilmington are offering zero percent financing as well as many rebates, which could add up to big savings for you. “They have rebates up to $5,000 right now, and they have a loyalty rebate right now, if you own a general motors vehicle you get up to another $2,000 rebate on the vehicle, that's why it's such a great time to buy a vehicle right now,” said Tony Holmes of Jeff Gordon Chevrolet. There's also a much higher demand for used vehicles, which could save you a few more dollars on your new car. “It means that they're actually getting a lot more for their trade-in then they would in just the last six months. So if you have a good vehicle, it's a good time to trade it in,” Holmes said. “They don't have a car affordability index, but if they tracked it I think that would make it the cheapest I’ve seen in as long as I’ve been alive,” Marino said. So, if the senate passes the Cash for Clunkers bill, car deals might be too good to drive by. It will require plenty of support from car dealers. They would have to allow customers to use the vouchers toward a down payment, and then apply for a government refund. Opponents of the bill say, as it stands now, some gas guzzlers would still qualify for the rebate. While that would still mean car sales, they say that defeats the purpose of encouraging more fuel-efficient vehicles.

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Car sales

The incentive definitely won't excite me to purchase a new car. My '98 Ford Excort ZX2 is paid for & gets great gas mileage. I've had it 10yrs & always have taken care of it. Will keep driving it til it falls apart cause not able to afford auto payment since they've cut back on my hours, also work another parttime job, but with everything going up, up, up no extra funds to buy a new car.


Does this mean I get an owner/employee discount when I buy a car from GM now...not that I would...just askin.

All those "Car Commercials"

All those "Car Commercials" we saw every time we turned on the TV! Big bucks for air time...and someone paid for them. Guess who paid for them? Over producing these vehicles over the years, whether from across the ocean or right here at home has created this saga after the economy went Ka-Put! All that Government (tax payer) bailout dollars to help the car industry survive...and they are still begging us taxpayers to give more by buying/buying/buying! Time has come for them to sleep in their beds. They made them ;-)

How do you expect people to

How do you expect people to buy cars when they don't have jobs? Everyday, I become more and more amazed by the stupidity in Washington DC.


THE GOVERNMENT selling cars...LOL you CANNOT make this stuff up me ONE major program that the government runs that is SUCCESSFUL...SS..DOWN THE TUBES..Medicare/Medicaid..DOWN THE TUBES...borders...LOL don't get me they want to run my HEALTHCARE and sell cars...

I have a perfectly good '91

I have a perfectly good '91 model car that I paid cash for 4 years ago and gets almost 28 MPG. Why should I buy a new car?

Bev, you can't make people

Bev, you can't make people buy cars. It is my hard earned money and if I don't want to buy a car, guess what? I won't buy one. Since my car is paid for and has a really good warranty, why should I? and take on another bill? no thanks.