Get discounts on hybrid cars and green vehicles

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cars, donate your car, fuel-efficient vehicles, green vehicles, hybrid cars, incentives, rebates

Cash for Old Cars

Donate your car to get money, tax receipts or discounts on hybrid cars or other fuel-efficient vehicles.
By Jay Smith

If you drive, your vehicle’s emissions are your second-biggest contribution to global warming (after your home) – each litre of gas your vehicle burns emits 2.3 kg of carbon dioxide. While it’s encouraging to see more hybrids and electric cars on the road and on the horizon, it’s just as important to take old vehicles off the road.

It’s true that insurance is cheap for clunkers, but the federal government estimates that vehicles dated 1995 and earlier emit 19 times more air pollution than models dated 2004 or later. Replacing a 1990 sedan with a 2009 hybrid represents a reduction of about 65 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions!

To get an idea of how much fuel and money you could save by upgrading to a new vehicle, check out the federal government’s online calculator,  which allows you to compare the efficiency of your old vehicle to current models.

When you go to buy that new car or truck, start by choosing a new model that gives you the best fuel economy, stated as litres of fuel per 100 kilometres. C3 (formerly Climate Change Central)  recommends that you also take into account factors beyond the advertised fuel efficiency. Choose the smallest vehicle that meets your needs, for instance, and opt for roof racks and boxes that detach when unnecessary. This reduces the weight, which saves gas. And don’t forget that even the most efficient vehicle can use more fuel than a gas-guzzling SUV if it’s constantly being used. Taking alternative forms of transportation, such as public transit or a bicycle, is the ultimate fuel efficiency.

Donate your car

If you opt to take your gas guzzler off the road, you could collect incentives such as discounts on hybrid vehicles, deals on public transit, tax receipts or even cash back.

Car Heaven

Rewards Nationally, you can get a tax receipt if you donate the value of the vehicle to an affiliated charity. Receive a $100 tax receipt for vehicles dated 1998 or earlier, and more for those dated 1999 or later. In certain provinces, instead of a receipt, you can choose incentives such as a car-sharing membership (see below).

Nova Scotia: $100 toward a membership and driving fees at CarShareHFX.
Ontario: A free membership to AutoShare, worth $100-$150.
Saskatchewan: A $50 driving credit at the Regina Car Share Co-operative.
Conditions To be eligible for incentives, your vehicle’s model year must be 2003 or earlier, and it must have been insured within the past 12 months.

Kidney Foundation of Canada Kidney Car Program

Rewards A tax receipt up to $300 (varies by province), plus free pickup and towing for a qualified donated vehicle.
Conditions Vehicle does not need to be in running condition, but must have wheels, transmission and engine. Call your local hotline for more info.

BC Scrap-It (British Columbia)

Rewards Retire a vehicle from 1995 or older and choose from a long list of incentives including transit passes, bicycles, car-sharing memberships, new or used cars, or $200 in cash. Buying a new green vehicle? Save up to $5,000 off the sticker price for qualified cars, and get a rebate up to $500 for installing a dedicated charging station at home.
Conditions Pre-1995 vehicles must have been continuously insured by the registered owner/applicants for six months prior to retiring the vehicles.

Clear the Air (Quebec)

Rewards Get tax receipts, a one-year membership to AQLPA (l’Association québécoise de lutte à la pollution atmosphérique), discounts at Communauto and a one-year subscription to Allo Stop. Plus, eligible participants may also choose one of the following incentives:

  1. 12 months of transit passes;
  2. up to $1,500 towards the purchase of a fuel-efficient vehicle;
  3. a discount subscription to both Communauto and Bixi;
  4. credit on the Montreal-Sherbrooke Line;
  5. carpooling credit with both Allo Stop and Bixi; or
  6. a discount on a bike or an electric bike.

Conditions Vehicle must be dated 1997 or earlier and in running condition; must be insured and registered for the past six months. Other conditions apply.

Manufacturers’ programs

Toyota Canada offers $1,500 towards the purchase of a low-pollution Toyota vehicle, including the iconic Prius,  to those participating in Quebec’s Clear the Air program.

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