So the time has finally has come to retire my car from college. I had a 1987 VW Cabrio and loved it. Great for when I was playing gigs and simply driving around in the sun. Although that car was still running ok, it was clear that it was due for something major to fail. Since I mostly ride a motorcycle and have a ‘newer’ car, I decided to get rid of it. Normally I would have to go through the pain of fixing little things, doing a deep clean and pay out however much it will take to clear smog, I decided to have dismantled… And got $1000 for it. How?

Seems that California has a program that will let you turn in any car over a certain age for $1000 IF that car is still running. Still running means you can drive it under it’s own power, the driver door works, it can start under it’s own power and can go in reverse. That’s it.

When I checked into this, it was only for cars that failed smog, but when I got my paperwork, it was for any car for any reason that qualifies.  I tried to find a text version of the document I found online, but could not so I use Microsoft OneNote to OCR and then fixed up what I could…

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

To qualify for VEHICLE RETIREMENT, 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 the Consumer Assistance Program (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 pass a visual and operational inspection.

AND
If your vehicle requires a biennial Smog Check inspection:

  • The vehicle must have failed a “biennial” (every other year) Smog Check inspection (aborted, manual mode, and training mode tests do not qualify).
  • You must pay all appropriate fees for the vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • The vehicle must not be undergoing a transfer of ownership.
  • The Smog Check failure must not be due solely to an ignition timing adjustment, or a failed gas cap functional test.
  • The vehicle must have failed a Smog Check inspection no later than 120 days after its registration expiration date.
  • You must have applied no later than 120 days after the current registration expiration date & your vehicle.
  • The vehicle must have been continuously registered as an operable vehicle in California for the 24 months immediately preceding the current registration expiration date; or – The vehicle was placed in non-operational status for a total of 60 or fewer days for the 24 months immediately preceding the current registration expiration date; or The vehicle registration has lapsed for less than 121 days for the 24 months immediately preceding the current registration expiration date.

OR

If your vehicle does not require or is not currently due for a biennial Smog Check inspection:

  • All vehicles with a title that has been branded by the DMV as dismantled or salvaged are ineligible.
  • The vehicle must be continuously registered as an operable vehicle in California for at least 24 months prior to the postmarked date of the application; or The vehicle was placed in non-operational status for a total of 60 or fewer days during the continuous 24 month registration period and occurring at least 90 days prior to the postmarked date of application; or The vehicle registration has lapsed for less than 121 days during the previous 24-month registration period, provided that the vehicle is registered for at least 90 days prior to the postmarked date of application.
  • OR
  • The vehicle may be eligible if primarily driven in California for the last two years (not have been registered in any other state or country in the last two years)

http://www.smogcheck.ca.gov/80_BARResources/ftp/pdfforms/CAP_App.pdf

Here is page 4 of the most current application I saw online.

4 comments on “Recycle your car and get $1000 for it. Really. Has to be running

  • Hi, I also want to retire my car. Not sure if it will pass the smog test. Did you mail your application or go to the BAR office? Did you have your car pass the smog test before you submit your application? How far did you have to drive to the dismantle site? Thanks

    • I did not have to pass smog; yes I did mail it in and waiting I think 2 weeks for a reply; And the place in Oakland was only about 15 min away next to a bart station. The whole process at the scrap yard was about 45 min, so be prepared to wait.All in all, it was worth it though.—

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