Updated: Thursday, 20 Aug 2009, 10:22 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 20 Aug 2009, 10:02 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The Cash for Clunkers program has hit the end of the road. The three billion dollar program will officially shut down Monday night.
The shutdown is being announced on the cars.gov web site that has been the source of information about the program. While Cash for Clunkers may have travelled a bumpy road, it's by in large being called a big success.
Participants received rebates up to $4,500 for trading in older vehicles for more fuel-efficient models. The government estimates that more than 450,000 vehicles have been sold because of the program.
Skip Walters, general manager of O'Brien Toyota, said the program has been good for business despite some difficulty in getting government reimbursement.
"We've kind of figured out what the government's looking for and that's now coming a little faster," said Walters.
President Obama has promised to add staff to help process dealer paperwork more quickly.
"I understand dealers want to get their money back as soon as possible. But the fact of the matter is, this is a good news story," said the president.
Whether Cash for Clunkers will help more than the auto industry, said Bill O'Donnell, the director of graduate business programs at Butler University, won't be known for months.
"But very few people would try to argue that it had no impact at all because look at the number of people that went out and bought brand new cars -- and I don't think that would have happened without the program," said O'Donnell.
Walters said this time around the end of the program is not a surprise, so it should go smoothly.
O'Brien Toyota stopped taking Cash for Clunkers deals Thursday afternoon. He said dealers have been told deals submitted by Monday at 8 p.m. will be reimbursed.
For more information on the program, visit cars.gov