Why are motorcycles not in 'Clunkers?'

Editor's Note: On Thursday, Aug. 20, the Department of Transportation, or DOT, announced that the "Cash for Clunkers" program will conclude Monday, Aug. 24 at 8 p.m. EDT. The DOT advised dealers to only conduct transactions under the program with consumers who have all of their paperwork ready to submit to the dealer during the transaction, as dealers will only have until Aug. 24 to submit completed applications for reimbursement. Consumers can review the program's requirements at 6 Steps to Cash for Clunkers.

Tara Baukus Melloq_v2.gifDear Driving for Dollars,
Why are motorcycles excluded from the Cash for Clunkers program? Most motorcycles get 40-plus mpg. This seems prejudiced against motorcyclists. Let's play fair. What do you think?
-- Kris

a_v2.gifDear Kris,
You're right. It certainly doesn't seem fair. The Cash for Clunkers program, formally known as the Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS for short, does not currently include motorcycles. The Irvine, Calif.-based Motorcycle Industry Council, which advocated including motorcycles, has said it was told by lawmakers that they wouldn't consider motorcycles because they were having a hard enough time getting support for the program covering just cars and trucks.

However, you might find motorcycles included if the "Clunkers" program is continued beyond the current $3 billion allocation. At that point, many legislators have said they will argue for different program requirements and eligibility of vehicles. At least one lawmaker, Sen. Robert P. Casey, D-Pa., supports a program that includes motorcycles that are priced between $7,000 and $20,000.

If you have a car question, e-mail it to us at Driving for Dollars.


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