Cash for Clunkers

Tara Hornor
Written byTara HornorUpdated - January 16, 2024
Tara Hornor
Tara Hornor

Tara Hornor is an experienced writer and entrepreneur with over two decades of experien... | See full bio

John Rush
Edited and Fact-Checked byJohn RushEditor
John Rush
John Rush
Automotive Content Accuracy Auditor|||

With over four decades of experience, John Rush is a highly accomplished business owner... | See full bio

AirCheck Texas Car Assistance Program

AirCheck Texas Details:

In 2017, during the 85th Legislative Session funding for the AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program was vetoed. Since then, the program has operated on previously collected funds. As of this time, no additional funding has been secured; thus, the Texas “air salvage” program operations have closed.

You can still get cash for your clunker in Texas! Click here to find local private Texas clunker buyer. No rebates or tax credit hassles. 

AirCheck Texas is not the only government funded car buy back program and provides several links detailing Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Program rules, related documents, analyzer specifications, and other related Web sites. These are broken out below in detail.

Details on Fee Analysis – Program Evaluation – Program Enhancement Studies – Analyzer Specifications – and Other Helpful Links

Other clean vehicle opportunities:

Texans can take advantage of other Texas car assistance programs that have funding available to provide incentives to lower the cost of a new vehicle. The chart and program details are listed below:

What's Your Vehicle Worth in Texas?

2002 or Newer Vehicles

2001 or Older Vehicles

Chart Provided by North Central Texas Council of Government

Program Details Below: 

Fuel Cell Motor Vehicle Tax Credit * 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

Purchase of a qualified light-duty fuel cell vehicle (depending on the vehicle’s fuel economy), may qualify for a tax credit up to $8,000. These credits are also applicable for heavy-duty and medium-duty fuel cell vehicles and the tax credit amount is dependent on weight. This is a tax credit not a cash payment to the taxpayer for their vehicle

There are several steps that manufacturers must observe as published in the following notice: Notice 2008-33(PDF) to verify the to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that the vehicle does certify and meet requirements and criteria needed to claim the credit. This same notice also gives further detail and direction to taxpayers about steps to claim the credit.  

For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 8910, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website. (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 30B)

The process to qualify and receive the tax credit must be followed very carefully to avoid penalties or fees for misrepresentation and fraud. This program does not actually pay cash to the seller and can be very tedius and challenging to qualify. Fortunately, there other great options besides the air salvage programs to sell a junk car in Texas who pay cash and pick up within 48-72 hours!

Qualified Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Tax Credit

To assist taxpayers in purchasing a new qualified PEV that draws propulsion using a traction batter a tax credit if available. It must meet the following 5 qualifiers:

  • The battery must have at least 5 Kilowatt-hours of capacity.
  • Utizlize and external energy source to recharge the batter (i.e. plug in)
  • The vehicle must have a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 14k pounds.
  • It must also meet specific emmissions standards
  • The credit only applies to vehicles bought after December 31, 2009

The tax credit offered ranges from $2,500 – $7,500.

Fortunately, there other options avaiklabe if your purchase does not qualify to sell a junk car in Texas.

There is a phase out of the credit, by each manufactuer (April – June) the following calendar year in which a minimum of 200k PEVs that qualify have been sold in the USA.

For more information, including qualifying vehicles and sales by manufacturer, see the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) PEV Credit website (refer to form 8936). Available via the IRS Forms and Publications website.

Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program

This program provides rebates to Texans who purchase or lease an eligible vehicle. It must meet specific creteria and be a new light-duty motor vehicle powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or hydrogen fuel cell or other electric drive (plug-in or plug-in hybrid).

The TCEQ is now accepting applications under the Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program. Applications will be accepted and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Unless the application period is suspended by the TCEQ prior to the deadline, applications must be received and date-stamped at the front desk, Rm. 1301, 1st floor of Building F on the premises of the TCEQ by no later than 5:00 p.m., Central Time, January 7, 2021. Only vehicles purchased on or after September 1, 2019 are eligible. Please review the Eligible Vehicle List for additional eligibility criteria.

Visit this page to follow the proper steps to determine program eligibility, preparing,  and submitting a project application in this air salvage type program.


Find out what your car is worth

Have you been trying to sell a junker or need junk car pickup? Clunkers, junkers and old cars in Texas are needed right now! There are buyers looking for these difficult to sell vehicles both for auto auctions and quality used car parts.

Now how to sell your junk car is another matter. Trying to sell a clunker or junk car privately can be expensive and complicated. Typically, a listing online is not sufficient. If a potential buyer does show up they often just waste your time with low ball offers if they even give any interest after driving.

If you have ever tried to find a car buyer online, you quickly realize how messy this can get. Calling a junkyard or salvage yard though it sounds like a good next step ends up wasting a ton of time and will often make you pay and extra tow fee. Talk about frustrating… after talking on the phone for hours to several people you get a lowball offer and a tow bill! Selling that old clunker or junk car is hard and can be a very difficult process. Fortunately, Cash for Clunkers is your hassle-free, quick, and painless sale my junk car for top dollar solution.

When you need to sell your old clunker quickly, finding someone you can trust is key. Cash for Clunkers has been connecting buyers with sellers for over a decade! We match you to local junk car buyers who will not only give you an immediate cash offer + tow your vehicle for free… often within 48 hours! At Cash for Clunkers we pride ourselves in provided the most transparent and best offer to sell your old car for cash – today!

Archived post below

If you qualify you could receive up to $3,500 towards replacing your vehicle or up to $600 in repair assistance. Texas motorists applying for REPAIR ASSISTANCE should obtain a repair voucher prior to having emission related repairs performed, as repairs made prior to approval will not be eligible for reimbursement.

If you do not meet these conditions or simply want cash for your clunker in Texas click here to find local private Texas clunker buyer.

Find a Recognized Emission Repair Facilities (RERF) with the RERF Repair Locator

Effective September 1, 2018, eligible vehicles are:

  • Model year 2016,2017, 2018, 2019 cars, SUVs, and vans;
  • Model year 2017, 2018, 2019 pickup trucks meeting federal Tier 2, Bin 5 or cleaner standards and
  • Model year 2016,2017, 2018, 2019 hybrid, electric, natural gas and all vehicles that have been certified to meet federal Tier 2, Bin 3 or cleaner standards.

All vehicles sold on or after September 1 must meet new eligibility criteria, regardless of the voucher’s date of issue or expiration, or status of ongoing sales negotiations with the dealer.

Eligible Counties

Austin Program Area

  • Travis
  • Williamson

Dallas-Fort Worth Program Area

  • Collin
  • Dallas
  • Denton
  • Ellis
  • Johnson
  • Kaufman
  • Parker
  • Rockwall
  • Tarrant

Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Program Area

  • Brazoria
  • Fort Bend
  • Galveston
  • Harris
  • Montgomery

Condition of Vehicle (either of the following:)

Failed Emissions

  • Failed an emissions test,
  • Registered in your participating county area for at least 12 of the 15 months preceding your application, and
  • Passed a Texas motor-vehicle safety and emissions inspection within 15 months of your application and driven under its own power to the automobile dealership.


Gas Powered at Least 10 years old

  • At least 10 years old and gasoline powered,
  • Driven under its own power to the automobile dealership,
  • Registered in your participating county area for at least 12 of the 15 months preceding your application, and
  • Passed a DPS motor-vehicle safety inspection (if more than 24 years old) or safety and emissions inspection (if 24 years old less) within 15 months of application.

If you do not meet these conditions or simply want cash for your clunker in Texas, click here to find local private Texas clunker buyer

We pay cash for cars. Call 1-800-898-9103 for more information.

What's Your Vehicle Worth in Texas?

2002 or Newer Vehicles

2001 or Older Vehicles





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