The Bureau of Automotive Repair's Consumer Assistance Program offers vehicle retirement to California vehicle owners wanting to sell their vehicles to the State of California.
The Vehicle Buy Back Program buys used vehicles from CA motorists. The program offers a flat $1500 to low income applicants, and $1000 to above income vehicle owners.
Your vehicle must have failed a recent smog check in order to be eligible for the Buy Back Program; if you are not considered a Low Income Applicant. Low Income eligible applicants may apply for the Vehicle Buy Back if their vehicles have passed or failed a recent smog inspection.
Visit a smog station and explain you need a smog check because you want to apply for the California vehicle retirement program.
Vehicles must not have a tampered emission system(s), and the smog check failure must not be due solely to an ignition timing adjustment failure or gas cap functional test. An illuminated check engine light or malfunction indicator lamp is smog check failure.
Click Here for a complete list of vehicle buy back eligibility requirements.
Not all vehicles will qualify for California vehicle retirement program. Please read the requirements carefully.
The goal of the vehicle buy back program is to encourage the removal of older vehicles from California in order to replace them with newer less polluting transportation, in the forms of cleaner emission vehicles, electric cars, bike lanes, and mass transit.
You must first obtain and mail in a CAP application to the Bureau of Automotive Repairs. Upon receiving approval you will be directed to a CAP authorized dismantler to turn in your vehicle and receive payment.
Contact the California State Bureau of Automotive Repairs at (866) 272-9642 to have an application mailed to you or download a CAP Application here.
Current Buy Back Status: DELAYED
The CA Vehicle Buy Back Program is currently operating however delayed due to a high number of applications received.
The BAR has not provided a response time for consumers wanting to sell their car, truck, SUV or van to the State. Download the online California Buy Back Program Vehicle Retirement application in order to apply now. Participation in CAP programs is limited to the availability of funds.
Vehicle Retirement Requirements
1. Must Be Running - In order to qualify for the State's vehicle buy back program your vehicle must be in running condition and able to be driven to an approved dismantler.
2. Must Have Valid Registration - Vehicle registration can not be expired and it can not have been in non-operational status for more than 60 days during the 24 month period prior to the date of CAP application.
3. Must Have CA Title - The vehicle must be registered to you (you must have a title issued in your name) and can not be undergoing an initial registration in California.
There are additional requirements which you may read by downloading the CAP Vehicle Buy Back Application Requirements here.