Bay Area Will Pay $1,200 for Your Old Car (1998 or Older)
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is announcing incentives of $1,200 through the Vehicle Buy Back Program for Bay Area residents to scrap 1998 and older vehicles to improve local air quality. The program pays owners of older, high-polluting cars and small trucks to voluntarily retire their vehicles. Older vehicles lack modern emission control technology and pollute at a higher rate than newer models.
©“The Vehicle Buy Back Program is an important tool to encourage early retirement of the most polluting cars and trucks on our roads as older engines run dirtier than newer models and contribute significantly more to unhealthy air quality,” said Sharon Landers, interim executive officer of the Air District. “Transportation remains the largest source of air pollution in the Bay Area and scrapping older vehicles helps limit harmful tailpipe emissions in the air we breathe.”
Eligibility requirements for the Vehicle Buy Back Program include:
- Vehicle must be 1998 model year or older
- Vehicle must be currently registered as operable and must be drivable
- Vehicle must have been registered in the Bay Area for the past 24 months
- Vehicles within 60 days of a required smog check must take and pass smog check
The program reduces air pollutants from vehicle exhaust including fine particles and ozone precursors, the main ingredients in smog. These pollutants contribute to respiratory diseases and increased mortality rates. Retiring older vehicles also reduces carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Since 1996, the Air District’s Vehicle Buy Back program has retired over 90,000 cars, vans, pickup trucks and SUVs. For each pre-1998 vehicle removed from Bay Area roads, an estimated 75 pounds of air pollution is prevented from being emitted into the air annually. In 2021, 3,000 vehicles were retired, representing 91 tons of air pollution having been removed. The State of California operates a complimentary program offering eligible consumers vehicle retirement options for vehicles that do not pass smog check. More on the Consumer Assistance Program is available at www.bar.ca.gov/consumer/consumer_assistance_program.
Find out more about the Vehicle Buy Back program