Japan’s Cash-for-Clunkers analog has gotten some press here in the US, mainly for the lack of eligible US-made cars that you could trade in your car for; however, a lower-key Canadian program has been keeping Canadian car haulers busy since last year. The Retire Your Ride program put 55,000 cars out to pasture in 2009. That’s roughly proportional on a per-capita basis to the 690,000 cars that the US program retired, but spending only C$300 a car compared to the US$3500 per-car figure that Uncle Sam spent.
The Retire Your Ride program targets cars made in 1995 and older that have been owned for six months and are in working order; those last provisions keep people from buying a hulk from the junkyard and getting a quick $300. Green-friendly options can expand the $300 to larger rebates on bicycles and mopeds ($500 in Ontario and $700 in British Columbia), or a year’s pass on a number of city’s mass transit systems. Some of the major car companies, such as Ford, GM, and Hyundai, are offering generous rebates for RYR donors.
The RYR program will make a dent on the used-car market in Canada, as a lot of affordable cars from the early 90s and back will be unavailable. Teens that might have wanted to get a cheap first car to tinker with will be stuck with a bike or bumming their parent’s cars. It will mean less business for car transporters getting older cars to and from auctions but hulk-haulers will get some extra business from Retire Your Ride.
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