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Cash for Clunkers Ending

As I wrote the other day, the government wants you to know that if you participate in cash for clunkers, you are supposed to be able to drive your new car home, even if the $4,500 credit hasn't been approved. But some models were so popular that dealers ran out of inventory so the government had to relent. Now, consumers will still be eligible for the cash if they order the vehicle from the manufacturer. As long as the dealer submits the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the new car with the paperwork sent to the Feds, you get the credit. One big problem: You have to leave your clunker at the dealership. You'd better have a back-up car before making the deal. If there's anything else you need to know about the program, just bop over to cars.gov, the official website for the program.

Meanwhile, you'd better go out this weekend and trade in that car because the government is ending C for C on Monday because it's $2 billion budget will have been exhausted by then. All dealer paperwork has to be in by 8 p.m.