A buyer incentive programme to promote fuel-efficient vehicles by exchanging old ones has been launched by the US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Interested customers can now exchange their old less fuel-efficient vehicles with brand new ones through the $1bn government’s Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) programme, commonly known as Cash for Clunkers.

Customers will also get a discount between $3,500 and $4,500 on purchase or lease of the new qualifying vehicle against the old traded vehicle.

To avail incentives under the CARS programme, a drivable vehicle must have been manufactured less than 25 years before the date of trading, registered and insured to the same owner, and have a combined city/highway fuel economy of 18 miles per gallon or less.

The programme aims to take 25,000 less fuel-efficient vehicles off the road.