Some lucky Texans driving cars from before 1996 will be able to trade in their clunkers for vouchers good for $3,000 off a new or late-model used vehicle priced up to $25,000 (or a $3,500 voucher for a hybrid vehicle).
The reasoning behind the move to pull older cars off the road is that advances in fuel injection and computer technology have improved today’s vehicles to the point that they’re 10-30 times less polluting than ones from the mid-1990s and before.
If you’re a Texan making under the $61,000 maximum annual income, but your beater car is just a little too new to met the program guidelines, you can still take advantage of (i.e. scam) this program to help you save some serious cash on a new ride. Here’s how:
- Buy a pre-1996 vehicle that passes state inspection for as little money as possible. Expect to spend no more than $1,000 on this–maybe even as low as $500.
- Trade it to the junkyard for your $3,000 voucher.
- Sell your beater.
- Apply the voucher and sale money to a new car purchase.
- Hop in your brand new Hyundai Accent or Kia Rio for little or no money out of your pocket, partly thanks to the taxpayers of Texas.
Kudos to Texas for acting to clean up the air, but if you want to do the job a lot cheaper, I know a few guys in the city who can make all those jalopies “go away” for just a few hundred a piece.
UPDATE: The program is now live. Apply for your voucher here.