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County Buyback Program Will Pay $1,000 for Old Cars, Trucks

Pollution Control District relaunches the program with a few changes

Need some cash for the holiday season? The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District has a solution: Sell that old car for $1,000.

The district announced Tuesday the relaunch of its popular Old Car Buyback Program, which was suspended in February after funds ran out.

There are a few changes. The program now accepts gasoline or diesel vehicles of model year 1993 or older (instead of 1992 or older); vehicles must be less than 10,000 pounds (instead of 8,500 pounds); and consumers will get a check in hand after their vehicles have gone through the qualification and inspection process (instead of receiving the check by mail).

Older vehicles pollute much more than newer ones. The vehicles that qualify for the program represent 15 percent of vehicles in the county, but contribute more than 66 percent of the air pollution from county vehicles.

“We estimate the program has cut almost 67 tons of smog-forming air pollutants since 2006 by taking more than 1,900 of these higher-polluting vehicles off the road,” Pollution Control District director Dave Van Mullem said.

Cars and trucks are a major source of smog pollution in Santa Barbara County. The vehicles purchased by the program are taken off the road permanently; a licensed auto dismantler crushes vehicles that are voluntarily retired. Dismantlers working with the district are located in Goleta, Lompoc and Santa Maria. The program is funded by vehicle registration fees designated for use by local air districts to reduce air pollution.

The district will pay $1,000 for 1993 or older gasoline or diesel cars, light-duty trucks, vans or sport utility vehicles if certain conditions are met. Vehicles must be registered in Santa Barbara County for the past two consecutive years, must be in working condition, must be smog certified and must meet additional requirements as listed on the district Web site.

Click here for more information, or call 805.961.8814.

— Mary Byrd is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District.

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