WASHINGTON — The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) ended Aug. 25 with nearly 700,000 in car sales and rebate applications worth $2.8 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The total amount from rebate applications is less than the $3 billion provided by Congress to run the program. Meanwhile, cars made in America topped the most-purchased list, from the Ford Focus to the Toyota Corolla to the Honda Civic.

“American consumers and workers were the clear winners thanks to the cash for clunkers program,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Manufacturing plants have added shifts and recalled workers. Moribund showrooms were brought back to life and consumers bought fuel efficient cars that will save them money and improve the environment.”

“This is one of the best economic news stories we’ve seen and I’m proud we were able to give consumers a helping hand,” he added.

According to a preliminary analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the CARS program will:

  • Boost economic growth in the third quarter of 2009 by 0.3 - 0.4 percentage points at an annual rate thanks to increased auto sales in July and August.
  • Will sustain the increase in GDP in the fourth quarter because of increased auto production to replace depleted inventories.
  • Will create or save 42,000 jobs in the second half of 2009. Those jobs are expected to remain well after the program’s close.

Ford and General Motors recently announced production increases for both the third and fourth quarters as a result of the demand generated by the program. Honda also said it will be increasing production at its U.S. plants in East Liberty and Marysville, Ohio and in Lincoln, Ala.

In addition, the program provides good news for the environment. That’s because 84 percent of consumers traded in trucks and 59 percent purchased passenger cars. The average fuel economy of the vehicles traded in was 15.8 miles per gallon and the average fuel economy of vehicles purchased is 24.9 mpg. – a 58 percent improvement.

With the end of transactions under the program, the Department of Transportation is augmenting a team that already includes more than 2,000 people processing dealer applications for rebates.

Dealer Transactions

Number Submitted: 690,114

Dollar Value: $2.8 billion

Top 10 New Vehicles Purchased

1. Toyota Corolla

2. Honda Civic

3. Toyota Camry

4. Ford Focus FWD

5. Hyundai Elantra

6. Nissan Versa

7. Toyota Prius

8. Honda Accord

9. Honda Fit

10. Ford Escape FWD

Top 10 New Vehicles Manufacturers

1. Toyota 19.4%

2. General Motors 17.6%

3. Ford 14.4%

4. Honda 13.0%

5. Nissan 8.7%

6. Hyundai 7.2%

7. Chrysler 6.6%

8. Kia 4.3%

9. Subaru 2.5%

10. Mazda 2.4%

Top 10 Trade-in Vehicles

1. Ford Explorer 4WD

2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD

3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD

4. Ford Explorer 2WD

5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD

6. Jeep Cherokee 4WD

7. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD

8. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD

9. Ford F150 Pickup 4WD

10. Ford Windstar FWD Van

84% of trade-ins under the program are trucks, and 59% of new vehicles purchased are cars.

Top 10 States by Requested Voucher Dollar Amount





New York












New Jersey