I think the entire programme is largely misunderstood. Yes, the green-factor does play a part, but the rest of it is about cash-injecting the Automotive industry in the US. Say someone has an old car... 70's chev or ford or whatever. They don't owe SQUAT on the car, and the only money they spent on it is for oil/fuel/general maintenance... i.e. nothing substantial. The reasons why someone would hold on to a car like that are possibly that they LIKE the car (i.e. they collect old cars/always wanted one...) OR, they just can't afford one. The maths that were made probably (and i am speaking out of pure assumption here) indicates that most people fall in the latter category. So. The government tells them: Buy a new car, and we will give you (on top of the trade in on your car) another 2-3large. PROVIDED you buy a new car. Suddenly, this guy can pick up a new car, while taking a loan of, say. 7000,- rather than 12000,- In the same move (seeing as he's not going for a big Hummer or something, most likely), he's being more eco-friendly, as his new car uses less petrol, has catalytic converters, etc. Yes, the programmer did and will continue to get abused by car aficionados and people who see the gap. However, this DOES kick the new car market in the rear, as all the old cars get trashed. that means that supply goes down, demand goes up. prices rise on used cars. New cars get sold more... Car industry scores. Mission accomplished.