Cash for clunkers at Chaplins North Bend Chevrolet

After a false start, Chaplins North Bend Chevrolet is participating in the U.S. government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program.

While many dealers have already burned through their inventory, Chaplins in North Bend is well stocked for the program’s second round, according to Frank Protzman, the dealership’s general manager.

The Chaplins auto chain had delayed participation until the program’s filing requirements were finalized on July 24. But dealers who hadn’t waited quickly used up the program’s $1 billion.

Last week, Congress approved $2 billion more for the program, which gives consumers vouchers for $3,500 or $4,000 when they trade in vehicles with low gas mileage for new, more fuel-efficient models. The old cars, which get no trade-in value, are destroyed.

Consumers must pay sales tax on the full price.

Even with the rebate, some consumers can’t afford a new car, Protzman said.

“They’re looking for a $2,000 car, and we’re going to destroy (the trade-in vehicles). The sword cuts both ways,” he said.

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