It has happened to the best of us. One day we get a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles stating that we are due for our biennial smog test. We decide to get it done right away instead of waiting until last minute like always, but this year things go a bit differently. This year we don’t pass the test, this year we fail. Not only do we fail the test, we fail it in a big way. The repair bill is more than the car is worth and you don’t really want to sink any more money into it. What is one supposed to do?
The state of California has your answer, by way of the voluntary California Vehicle Retirement Program. More specifically, it is run by the Bureau of Automotive Repair’s Consumer Assistance Program. They will buy back vehicles that have failed the biennial smog test for up to $1000 or $1500 (income-eligible vehicle owners) depending on availability of government funding.
There are some requirements though.
- First off, you have to apply to the Consumer Assistance Program and qualify to receive payment from an approved dismantling facility.
- Secondly, your car has to meet some requirements also.
- It must be running and you must be able to drive it to the dismantling facility.
- The vehicle registration must be valid. It cannot be expired and the vehicle can’t have been un-operational for more than 60 days during the 24 month period before applying to the Consumer Assistance Program.
- Finally, the vehicle has to be registered to you and already have a California title.