The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District still wants the cars nobody wants. Its Old Car Buy Back Program is now accepting vehicles model year 1997 and older and offering owners $1,000.
The program, established in 2006, retires older cars which produce more emissions than newer models. So far, it’s taken 6,000 older cars off the road, cutting nearly 600 tons of smog-forming pollution.
The vehicles that qualify for the program comprise 7% of those on the road but produce more than 38% of the county’s vehicle emissions.
“Vehicle technology has improved significantly over the years, and cars and trucks today are much cleaner than they were just a decade ago,” said District Director, Aeron Arlin Genet. “Cleaner cars mean better air quality in Santa Barbara County and throughout California.
“Under this program, the District can partner with residents to scrap their older vehicle while providing $1,000 for the purchase of a newer, cleaner car – including an electric car – or they can pocket it and take advantage of alternative transportation options like riding the bus or bicycling.”
The program is funded by vehicle registration fees. The district will pay $1,000 for 1997 or older gasoline- or diesel-fueled cars, light-duty trucks, vans or SUVs that have been registered in Santa Barbara County the past two years, are in working condition and are smog-certified.
The district hires auto dismantlers in Goleta, Lompoc and Santa Maria to crush the cars, removing them from the road.
More information, including a full list of requirements, can be found on the district’s website: ourair.org/old-car-buy-back-program or call (805) 961-8814.
— Annelise Hanshaw