Program helps you get a new car

December 19, 2007 3:29:59 PM PST
If you need a new car, the state of Texas may have money for you.A couple of months ago we first told you about a new program designed to get older cars off the road and cut down on pollution.

Now the program is up and running and it will help you put up to $3,500 toward the purchase of a new or used car.

Monique Ward's 1995 Mustang has seen better days.

"I want to get this car off the road as soon as possible," said Ward.

Ward's car may be falling apart at just the right time.

The state of Texas has started a voucher program that will give up to $3,500 to people who are driving cars that are at least ten years old, but there are other requirements.

Ronnie Barnes of the Houston Galveston Area Council says, "It has to have been registered in one of the participating counties for the past 12 months and it has to have passed the safety portion of the inspection within the last 15 months or failed the emissions test within the last 30 days."

In our area, people with qualifying cars must live in Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris or Montgomery Counties to be eligible for the voucher.

There is also an income requirement, but it's fairly generous.

You cannot make more than 300% of the federal poverty level.

For those living alone the maximum annual income is $30,630.

For an average family of four, you can't make more than $61,950 a year to get a vehicle voucher.

If your income is in line, you can use the voucher toward the purchase of a new or even a slightly used vehicle.

"The vehicle you purchase cannot cost more than $25,000, it has to be a current model year or no more than three years old if it is a car," says Barnes.

If you qualify you'll be instructed to go to your choice of 80 local dealerships enrolled in the program.

The vehicle you pick must meet emissions standards, there are literally hundreds of cars and trucks that qualify.

Eugene Martin of Gillman Honda says, "Honda Civics are always going to qualify, we also have pre-owned certified Accords."

After you agree to buy a car, you will hand over the voucher to the dealership and the dealership will collect the money from the state.

Your old car will be destroyed.

Click here to apply for a voucher.
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