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With the federal government officially kicking off its Cash for Clunkers auto trade in program Monday, a Web site set up to promote the effort is proving popular with consumers looking for participating dealers who will accept their trade ins.
Traffic on Cars.gov, the official site for the federal government's Car Allowance Rebate System, spiked to more than four times its average late Sunday through early Monday as potential auto buyers looked for more information about the program.
At one point, the traffic surge reduced the site's performance to a crawl. Cars.gov, however, appeared to be operating normally by Monday afternoon.
Cash for Clunkers, or CARS, lets drivers trade in older, less fuel efficient autos for new, greener models.
Buyers are eligible for a credit of up to $4,500 from the federal government to help fund their purchase. The older car in question must have a fuel mileage rating of 18 miles per gallon or less, and the new car to be purchased must achieve mileage of at least 22 mpg.
The Cars.gov site features a number of tools to help consumers take advantage of the program. A FAQ offers a summary of the rules and regulations, online resources include a copy of the law that authorizes the program, and a dealer locator finds participating auto retailers by city and state.
It's expected that more than 1,600 dealers will participate in CARS nationwide. The program will run either until Nov. 1, or until its $1 billion in federal funding runs out.