Proving the U.S. government may have acted in the nick of time, the nation’s Cash for Clunkers program exhausts its initial funding installment.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Admin., which runs the Car Allowance Rebate System, the program eclipsed the $1 billion lawmakers allotted the program last month. As of today, CARS has used $1.03 billion dollars for 245,384 transactions.

Last night, the Senate approved $2 billion more for CARS after it became clear it would run out of money just 12 official days into the program and months earlier than anticipated. The injection could fund around 450,000 more new-vehicle sales.

Although the Department of Transportation kicked off the program July 27, dealers began banking sales early for reimbursement, so experts say the program actually has been under way for more than one month.

Earlier this week, NHTSA said the program was working better than anyone anticipated at clearing gas guzzlers off the road and spurring sales.

The program offers consumers either $4,500 or $3,500 towards the purchase or 60-month lease of new, more fuel efficient vehicle if they trade in an eligible, less-economical vehicle.