Consumers paid to get rid of clunkers - report

Several states and Canada said to be offering incentives to reduce gas guzzling.

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NEW YORK ( -- As struggling consumers try to keep their old cars running in a softening economy, some states and Canada are offering cash rewards to motivate drivers to retire their old clunkers, according to a published report.

The Detroit News said Monday that the various governments are being motivated by the fact that drivers are keeping their inefficient cars longer, a situation expected to get worse as higher mileage standards make vehicles cost more.

"It's a great way to get those older vehicles off the roads," Andrea Morrow, a spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, told the paper.

In Texas, the News said drivers can get up to $3,500 to put toward a new car depending on their income and the age of their vehicle.

Other programs cited by the paper include California, where the state government offers incentives to scrap vehicles that fail emission tests or to have them repaired, and Canada, where various cities and provinces have launched campaigns to rid the road of old cars.

The News said the programs have the wholehearted support of auto makers.

"We strongly support efforts to get older, less-efficient vehicles off the roads and help consumers," Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, told the paper.  To top of page

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