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 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. Must be currently registered with 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 to an address or addresses within Santa Barbara County:
    1. A vehicle may also be eligible if it was placed in planned non-operational status for two (2) or fewer months during the continuous twenty-four (24) month registration period, and occurring at least three (3) months before sale to the Old Car Buy Back Program.
    2. A vehicle may also be eligible if the registration lapsed less than 181 days during the previous twenty-four (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 Old Car Buy Back Program.
  3. Smog Checks must be performed as required by the DMV in order for the vehicle to be considered registered.* The following Smog Check 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 sixty-one (61) to ninety (90) days of the next required Smog Check deadline.
    3. A vehicle within sixty (60) days of next required Smog Check deadline must take and pass Smog Check test before sale to the Old Car Buy Back Program.
    4. The vehicle has not been tampered with.
      *Diesel vehicles 1998 model year and older and gasoline vehicles 1975 model year and older are exempt from Smog Check Requirements.
  4. The vehicle to be retired must be driven to the auto dismantler 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. Interior pedals shall be operational;
    6. One bumper and all side and/or quarter panels shall be present and in place;
    7. Vehicle drive-ability must not be affected by any body, steering, or suspension damage;
    8. Exhaust system shall be present and in place;
    9. One headlight, one taillight, and one brake light shall be present and in place;
    10. One side window glass shall be present and in place; and
    11. 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 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.