Q:

What are car retirement programs?

A:

Quick Answer

Car retirement programs, such as those in California and Texas, pay people to surrender cars with poor emissions systems, or provide vouchers toward the purchase of new vehicles, as of 2015. Vehicles must meet several eligibility criteria to qualify for the programs.

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Full Answer

The Bureau of Automotive Repair Consumer Assistance Program administers the Vehicle Retirement Program in California, which purchases vehicles with bad emissions systems from owners. In order for a vehicle to qualify for the program, it must meet standards such as being currently registered, failing its most recent smog inspection, not under transfer of ownership and not registered to a business. Once officials deem the vehicle eligible, it must pass an inspection at the dismantling facility. The California Vehicle Retirement Program only reimburses someone if he is a registered owner of the vehicle, and a car owner can only retire one vehicle per year as a sole owner, or two per year as a joint owner.

The Vehicle Replacement Assistance Program in Texas pays people who retire their cars with vouchers used for the purchase of vehicles that meet higher emission standards. To qualify for the program, a vehicle must meet criteria such as a failed emissions test, being powered by gasoline, drivable, currently registered and at least 10 years old. People who surrender their vehicles through the Texas Vehicle Replacement Program must use their vouchers at authorized dealers, and the vehicles they purchase must meet criteria regarding price, mileage and emissions.

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