California Cash for Clunkers Program

State of California has a Cash for Clunkers program at both the state and local levels.
(Note: If your car is not driveable or doesn’t meet the other requirements listed below you may wish to contact a private California clunker car buyer.)

State of California BAR program

Has your vehicle FAILED the latest Smog Check Test?
The State’s recently enhanced Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) was developed by the ARB in consultation with BAR and provides $1,000 per vehicle and $1,500 for low-income consumers for unwanted vehicles that have FAILED their last Smog Check Test. For information on the development of the new program, visit ARB’s Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program website. For information on CAP, visit the website or call BAR at (866) 272-9642 or visit www.smogcheck.ca.gov.

View the BAR vehicle requirements checklist.


Important: You must be able to drive the car to one of the approved dismantlers. Please see the list of approved dismantlers for closest location. Please note that BAR offices are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and state holidays.


For an up-to-date list of BAR-contracted auto dismantlers
call 866.272.9642 at the end of August.

 


Sell your car to a local California air district VAVR program.


There are both State and local vehicle retirement programs available. The State program is available throughout California while the local programs are available only in areas where a local air district has established a program. At the State level, California’s updated Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) is administered by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) and provides $1,000 per vehicle and $1,500 for low-income consumers for unwanted vehicles that have either FAILED or PASSED their last Smog Check Test and that meet certain eligibility guidelines. Local voluntary accelerated vehicle retirement (VAVR) programs are available for vehicles that have PASSED their most recent Smog Check or are not subject to the Smog Check requirement.


See more detailed information below :

Local District Buyback programs
Has your vehicle PASSED the latest Smog Check Test?
If your vehicle has PASSED its most recent Smog Check, or if your vehicle is not subject to Smog Check, you may be eligible for a local air district VAVR program.
The following Districts are currently administering vehicle retirement programs.

  • Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District - Includes the northeast portion of Los Angeles County. For more information, visit the Antelope Valley AQMD or call 1-800-717-7624.
  • San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District - For more information, visit the San Luis Obispo County APCD or call the Car Buy Back Program at (800) 717-7624.
  • Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District - For more information, visit the Santa Barbara County APCD or call the Car Buy Back Program at (800) 717-7624.
  • Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District - For information, visit the Mojave Desert AQMD or call the Car Buy Back Program at (800) 717-7624.

The State of California and the Air Resources Board (ARB) do not administer VAVR programs. The ARB is responsible for developing the regulations that provide guidelines to local air districts that optionally choose to administer VAVR programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What vehicle retirement programs are available?

There are both State and local vehicle retirement programs available. The State program is available throughout California while the local programs are available only in areas where a local air district has established a program.

At the State level, California’s updated Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) is administered by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) and provides $1,000 per vehicle and $1,500 for low-income consumers for unwanted vehicles that have either FAILED or PASSED their last Smog Check Test and that meet certain eligibility guidelines.

Local voluntary accelerated vehicle retirement (VAVR) programs are available for vehicles that have PASSED their most recent Smog Check or are not subject to the Smog Check requirement.

2. Does my vehicle qualify for CAP?

To qualify for CAP, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must be the registered owner and not have retired a vehicle (a joint owner must not have retired two vehicles) through CAP within the last 12 months.
  • The vehicle must not be undergoing an initial registration in California.
  • The vehicle must not be registered to a business, fleet or non-profit organization.
  • The vehicle shall have a gross vehicle weight rating of no more than 10,000 pounds including a passenger vehicle, truck, sports utility vehicle (SUV) or van.

The vehicle must also meet certain Vehicle Equipment Requirements and Vehicle Operational Requirements.

Vehicle Equipment Requirements

  • All doors
  • Hood lid
  • Dashboard
  • Windshield
  • At least one side window glass
  • Driver’s seat
  • At least one bumper
  • Exhaust system
  • All side and /or quarter panels
  • At least one headlight, one taillight, and one brake light

Vehicle Operational Requirements

  • Vehicle must be driven to a CAP-contracted dismantler under its own power.
  • Vehicle engine starts readily through ordinary means without the use of starting fluids or external boost batteries.
  • Vehicle drivability is not affected by any body, steering, or suspension damage.
  • Vehicle is able to drive forward a minimum distance of 10 yards under its own power.
  • Interior pedals are operational.

You must be able to drive the car to one of the approved dismantlers. Please see the list of approved dismantlers for closest location.