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.
CA Vehicle Buy Back Requirements
A. If you are not considered a low income applicant, your vehicle must have failed a recent smog check in order to be eligible for the Buy Back Program. Low income eligible applicants may apply for the Vehicle Buy Back regardless of whether their vehicles have passed or failed a recent smog inspection. With either type of applicant, a recent smog check is required.
B. You may obtain a smog check at any time. You do not need to wait for your vehicle's registration renewal period. Visit a smog station and ask for a smog check that will be used to apply for the California vehicle retirement program.
C. Your vehicle must not have a tampered emission system(s) and its smog check failure must not be due solely to an ignition timing adjustment or gas cap functional test. If the check engine light or malfunction indicator lamp is on, it is considered a smog check failure. A vehicle will qualify for the buy back program if its check engine light is illuminated.
D. Vehicle 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.
E. Registration must be valid - 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.
F. Title must be in your name - 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.
Download the full 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.
The process time for consumers wanting to sell their car, truck, SUV or van to the State is 4 - 6 weeks. Download the online California Buy Back Program Vehicle Retirement application in order to apply now or use the BAR's new online application system. Participation in CAP programs is limited to the availability of funds.
NEW 2016-2017! CAP Application Online
There are additional requirements which you may read by downloading the CAP Vehicle Buy Back Application Requirements here.