The model year has now been raised to 1994 or older.
See additional requirements below.
Old Car Buy Back Program

Download Old Car Buy Back Program fact sheet in English (PDF) or en español (PDF).

Cars and trucks are the major source of smog pollution in Santa Barbara County, and older vehicles cause much more air pollution than newer ones.

This 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 $1,000 for your older vehicle if it meets the requirements below.

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.  Incentives will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the available funds are exhausted.

How to Get Started & Who to Call

Call 805-961-8814 for general information, or call one of our regional dismantlers listed below for specific questions and vehicle inquiries.

  • Steelhead Recyclers: 891 S. Kellogg Ave, Goleta    –  (805) 683-8557
  • Perry’s Auto Wrecking: 613 S. Avalon Rd, Lompoc    –  (805) 736-6719
  • Black Road Auto: 1500 Black Rd, Santa Maria  –  (805) 346-2770

Eligibility

The following requirements must be met.

  1. The vehicle must be either a gasoline-powered or diesel-powered passenger car, light or medium-duty pickup truck, or van, model year 1994 or older with gross vehicle weight not to exceed 10,000 pounds.
  2. The vehicle must have a current California registration as an operable vehicle to an address or addresses in Santa Barbara County and have been so registered for at least 24 consecutive months prior to the date of sale to the District.
    1. A vehicle may also be eligible if the owner of the vehicle placed the vehicle in planned non-operational status for a total of no more than two (2) months during the continuous 24 month registration period, occurring at least three (3) months prior to the date of sale to the District.
    2. A vehicle may also be eligible if the registration has lapsed for a period not to exceed 180 days during the previous 24 months and all appropriate registration fees and late penalties have been paid to the DMV, provided that the vehicle is registered for at least 90 days immediately prior to the date of sale to the District.
  3. Smog Checks must be performed as required by the DMV in order for the vehicle to be considered registered. The following smog requirements must be met:
    1. The vehicle is not operating under a Bureau of Automotive Repair smog check repair cost waiver or economic hardship extension.
    2. The vehicle has not failed a smog check within 61-90 days of the next required smog check.
    3. A vehicle within 60 days of its next required smog check must take and pass smog check inspection test prior to the date of sale to the District.
    4. The vehicle has not been tampered with.
      Diesel-powered vehicles model year 1988 and older and gasoline-powered vehicles 1975  and older are not required by the DMV to pass a smog check in order to be registered, therefore they do not have to pass a smog check to be eligible for this program.
  4. The vehicle to be retired must be driven to the inspection station site under its own power and must pass a functional and equipment eligibility inspection as outlined below:
    1. All doors shall be present and in place;
    2. The hood shall be present and in place;
    3. The dashboard shall be in place;
    4. Windshield shall be present and in place;
    5. The driver’s seat must be present and in place;
    6. Interior pedals shall be operational;
    7. One bumper and all side and/or quarter panels shall be present and in place;
    8. Vehicle driveability must not be affected by any body, steering, or suspension damage;
    9. Exhaust system shall be present and in place;
    10. One headlight, one taillight, and one brake light shall be present and in place;
    11. One side window glass shall be present and in place; and
    12. The vehicle must complete the following test: Insert key, vehicle engine shall start using keyed ignition system. In addition to the keyed ignition switch, ignition or fuel kill switch may be activated if required to start engine. The vehicle must start readily through ordinary means without the use of starting fluids or external booster batteries. The vehicle shall be driven forward for a minimum of 25 feet under its own power. The vehicle shall be driven in 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 any of our three regional dismantlers:

  • Steelhead Recyclers: 891 S. Kellogg Ave, Goleta    –  (805) 683-8557
  • Perry’s Auto Wrecking: 613 S. Avalon Rd, Lompoc    –  (805) 736-6719
  • 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.