Voluntary Accelerated Vehicle Retirement (VAVR) Program

This page last reviewed November 8, 2013

Background


The voluntary accelerated vehicle retirement (VAVR) program, also known as a car scrappage or old vehicle buy back program, provides monetary or other incentives to vehicle owners to voluntarily retire their older, more polluting vehicle.  A primary goal of the VAVR program is to encourage a more timely removal of older, more polluting vehicles from California roadways to be replaced with newer, cleaner vehicles or alternative transportation options.

State law allows the use of air district motor vehicle funds to be used for light-duty vehicle VAVR programs.  VAVR programs are optional for local air districts that may choose to administer them. Therefore, not all local air districts administer VAVR programs.  Many VAVR programs are funded through the Carl Moyer Program as defined in the Carl Moyer Program Guidelines.  The ARB adopted revisions to the VAVR regulation in December 2006 that incorporate the use of remote sensing devises and other technologies to identify high emitting vehicles as possible candidates for voluntary retirement to generate extra emission reductions.

District VAVR Program Information


If your vehicle has PASSED its most recent Smog Check, or if your vehicle is not subject to Smog Check, you may be eligible for a local air district VAVR program.  NOTE: Not all local air districts administer VAVR programs.  The following Districts are currently administering vehicle retirement programs.


  • Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District

                Includes the northeast portion of Los Angeles County.

                For more information, visit the Antelope Valley AQMD or call 1-800-717-7624.

  • Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

                For information, visit the Mojave Desert AQMD or call the Car Buy Back Program at (800) 717-7624.

  • Bay Area Air Quality Management District

                For information, visit the BAAQMD

  • San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District

                For more information, visit the San Luis Obispo County APCD or call the Car Buy Back Program at (800) 717-7624.

  • Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District

                For more information, visit the Santa Barbara County APCD or call the Car Buy Back Program at (805) 961-8814.


The State of California and the Air Resources Board (ARB) do not administer VAVR programs. The ARB is responsible for developing the regulations that provide guidelines to local air districts that optionally choose to administer VAVR programs.

Reports to the Legislature on Vehicle Retirement


Link to the Report to the California Legislature: Accelerated Light-Duty Vehicle Retirement Program, February 2009 (PDF - 110K)
Link to the Report to the California Legislature: Accelerated Light-Duty Vehicle Retirement Program, July 2004 (PDF - 66K)

Regulatory Documents (2006 VAVR Regulation Update)


Regulatory Documents (2002 VAVR Regulation Update)


Regulatory Documents (1998 VAVR Regulation)


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