Retiring Your Older Car in California

So maybe you have an aging, polluting kind of car or SUV or perhaps you have just gotten your Smog Check results. It may be time to consider turning your gas guzzler in under the Voluntary Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Program. The program gives owners a monetary incentive to get their beasts off the road. It may give extra encouragement to owners of vehicles that are so old that they don’t even have to get smog checks (1975 and older).

According to the Air Resources Board of California, you should consider the program if you have an older vehicle that gets poor mileage. The goal is to get you to get that vehicle off the road sooner than later, and get you to either opt for public transportation or at least a cleaner-running vehicle. Please note that the Air Resources Board does not technically run the car retirement program – the board simply develops guidelines for local air districts.

To retire the vehicle, you will have to bring it to an authorized dismantling location. Before you get it taken apart, you will have to have it officially inspected first. If your vehicle failed its last smog check, then you can contact the Bureau of Automotive Repair for more information. If your vehicle passed its lasts smog check, you can check with your local air district for more information.

The vehicle eligibility requirements vary by air district, but in a nutshell, the car owner agrees to scrap the vehicle for a certain scrapping price. You must have had the car registered for at least two years in your air district, and your car must have at least three years of life left on it. Your car must be driven under its own power to the buyback location, and it must be in good shape. For example, it has to have all doors, the hood, dashboard, windshield, operational pedals, one bumper, etc. It cannot need aids to start, like gas down the carburetor.

This program is especially effective because it is the older vehicles that cause the majority of the smog. It is also a big of relief to owners who can get a financial reward even if they fail a smog check and cannot afford the needed repairs. This program is credited with being able to remove seven to ten tons of smog-causing pollutants every day.

Ninety percent of the California population lives in an area that has air pollution, and this program goes a long way toward the goal of cleaner air.