At this time, please use either Black Road Auto in Santa Maria or Steelhead Recyclers in Goleta as the two certified dismantlers in Santa Barbara County. The Lompoc location is being discontinued until further notice.

Cars and trucks are a major source of smog pollution in Santa Barbara County, and older vehicles cause much more air pollution than newer ones. The Old Car Buy Back program is designed to take older vehicles off the road. A licensed auto dismantler will permanently destroy (i.e. crush) cars and trucks voluntarily retired under this program.

The District will pay you $1,000 for your older vehicle if it meets the program requirements.
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This voluntary accelerated vehicle retirement program is sponsored by the District. It is not operated by the State of California. Your participation is entirely voluntary.

How to Get Started and Who to Call

For general information about the program, call 805-961-8814.
For vehicle inquiries and specific questions related to your vehicle’s eligibility, call one of our regional dismantlers listed below:

  • Steelhead Recyclers:       891 S. Kellogg Ave, Goleta     –   (805) 683-8557
  • Black Road Auto:              1500 Black Rd, Santa Maria  –   (805) 346-2770

Please contact your local dismantler and bring them the following documentation to confirm eligibility:

  • Vehicle Title
  • Past 3 years of Vehicle Registration (Registration stubs or DMV Vehicle Registration History)
  • Most Recent Smog Receipt or Smog Test History Summary

Vehicle Eligibility

The following requirements must be met:

The vehicle must be a gasoline or diesel-powered passenger car, light or medium-duty pickup truck, or van, with model year 1995 or older and gross vehicle weight not to exceed 10,000 pounds.

The vehicle must be currently registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as an operable vehicle for at least twenty-four (24) consecutive months prior to the date of sale to the Old Car Buy Back Program. The vehicle must also be registered to an address within Santa Barbara County for this 24-month period.

Exceptions to the 24-month requirement:

  • A vehicle may be eligible if the registration lapsed less than 181 days during the previous 24 months and all registration fees and late penalties have been paid to the DMV, provided that the vehicle is registered for at least ninety (90) days before sale to the program.
  • A vehicle may be eligible if it was placed in Planned Non-Operational status for two (2) or fewer months during the 24-month registration period, and occurring at least three (3) months before sale to the program.

Smog checks must be performed as required by the DMV in order for the vehicle to be considered registered. [Diesel vehicles 1998 model year and older and gasoline vehicles 1975 model year and older are exempt from Smog Check.]

The following additional Smog Check requirements must be met:

  • A vehicle within sixty (60) days of the next required Smog Check deadline must take and pass a new Smog Check test before sale to the Old Car Buy Back Program.
  • The vehicle has not failed a Smog Check within sixty-one (61) to ninety (90) days of the next required Smog Check deadline.
  • The vehicle is not operating under a Bureau of Automotive Repair Smog Check repair cost waiver or economic hardship extension.

The vehicle must be driven to the auto dismantler under its own power and must pass a functional and equipment eligibility inspection as outlined below:

  • All doors shall be present and in place;
  • The dashboard, driver’s seat, and hood shall be present and in place;
  • The front windshield and one side window glass shall be present and in place;
  • One headlight, one tail light, and one brake light shall be present and in place;
  • One bumper and all side and/or quarter panels shall be present and in place;
  • Interior pedals shall be operational;
  • Vehicle drive-ability must not be affected by any body, steering, or suspension damage;
  • Exhaust system shall be present and in place;
  • Vehicle’s emission control system has not been tampered with, and
  • The vehicle must start using keyed ignition system. The vehicle must start readily through ordinary means without the use of starting fluids or external booster batteries. The vehicle must be able to be driven forward and reverse for a minimum of 25 feet under its own power.

Purchase of Qualified Vehicles

Qualified vehicles are available to be viewed and purchased by members of the public for a period of ten (10) days from the date of qualification into the program. After the ten (10) day period expires, the vehicles are dismantled. To inquire about currently available vehicles, please contact the two regional dismantlers:

  • Steelhead Recyclers:       891 S. Kellogg Ave, Goleta     –   (805) 683-8557
  • Black Road Auto:              1500 Black Rd, Santa Maria  –   (805) 346-2770

If Your Vehicle Fails Smog Check

If your vehicle has failed its Smog Check inspection, contact the Bureau of Automotive Repair Consumer Assistance Program regarding vehicle retirement at (800) 952-5210.