SANTA MONICA, Calif. (10/12/09)--Although the “Cash for Clunkers” program depleted inventory on some models this summer and prices are up, there are still deals, tax deductions, and hybrid credits available (Edmunds.com Sept. 21). Deals will be dependent on local inventory, especially for 2009 models. Dealers are making way for 2010 models. If it’s a Saturn you’re looking for, move quickly. While dealers have until October 2010 to close, many of these cars may be gone by January. Some Saturn models are selling below invoice, according to TrueCar.com, and General Motors (GM) will honor the warranty on new Saturn purchases. If you live in California, you could consider buying a new car on eBay. GM is testing the selling of new cars on the auction site. This may be a less stressful way to negotiate a deal and help you turn down dealer add-ons. Wherever you live, look into the federal government’s special tax deduction on state and local sales tax paid on a new car purchase up to $49,500. Taxpayers can take the deduction whether or not they itemize when filing 2009 federal income tax returns. The deduction is available to single filers with adjusted incomes of less than $135,000 and joint filers with incomes of less than $260,000. Federal tax credits are still available for some models of hybrids and vehicles powered by alternative energy fuels such as natural gas and diesel. The credits were originally offered to encourage people to buy fuel-efficient and alternative fuel cars, offsetting some of the extra cost. Consult the Internal Revenue Service rules before you shop. If you do find a deal this fall, your experience will be much smoother if you make purchasing a vehicle, financing a vehicle, and trading a vehicle three separate transactions. Talk first to a credit union loan officer for a pre-approved vehicle loan and you can shop with confidence.