Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Home News SoCal Does Cash for Clunkers

SoCal Does Cash for Clunkers

By Nick Vu, Editorial Intern

If you live in Los Angeles, you can retire your old car for $9,500 towards a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Many have already done so through Replace Your Ride, a program funded and operated by South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The Replace Your Ride program offers a financial incentive to Californians living in metropolitan areas to retire their old vehicles and buy newer, lower-emitting vehicles.

“I have an older car that I’ve been thinking about upgrading,” said Rick Jimenez, a musician from San Pedro who had not heard of Replace Your Ride. “It sucks that they’re not advertising the program as they should.”

The SCAQMD founded the program in 2015 and hosted promotional events for a few years, but none for the past two. Despite the lack of exposure, interest in the program has remained high. On average, eligible applicants wait four months to receive their vehicles. More than 5,500 California residents have replaced their old vehicles with the assistance of Replace Your Ride and Clean Cars 4 All, a similar program in San Joaquin Valley.

So far, the state has handed out $41 million in vouchers to residents in Los Angeles and other major urban cities.

“For the 2018-19 fiscal year, SCAQMD received a total of $13.4 million in grants from the California Air Resources Board for the Replace Your Ride Program,” said SCAQMD representative Bradley Wittaker. “South Coast AQMD expects to receive an additional $13 million by the end of 2020.”

The Replace Your Ride program serves Los Angeles County and its neighboring counties. There are similar programs in operation throughout California under different names.

The objective is to reduce air pollution in urban areas, where air quality is persistently poor. It is part of an overarching strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, as outlined in the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or Senate Bill 32.

“The principle behind the program makes a lot of sense,” said Troy Hardy, sales director at Toyota of Norwalk. “These are people who would normally purchase a used car, but with the government providing additional incentive they can get into a more fuel-efficient vehicle so their month-to-month cost is going to be lower and it will help the environment in the long run.”

As of September 2019, Replace Your Ride has scrapped 4,669 vehicles in Greater Los Angeles and a total of 6,868 throughout California. The average model year of the scrapped vehicles is 1999.

To be eligible, the trade-in car must be model year 2007 or older and participants must be residents of Greater Los Angeles, which includes San Pedro and Long Beach. The amount of the award depends upon family income and the type of vehicle purchased.

For example, a low-income household of four making less than $57,938 can receive $5,000 towards a fuel-efficient gas engine vehicle, or the full $9,500 towards a zero-emissions producing electric vehicle, such as a Toyota Prius Prime or any Tesla vehicle. Moderate and high-income families can participate too, but the voucher is less at $7,500 for the gas burner and $5,500 for the electric.

Toyota of Norwalk sells about 15 cars per month in participation with the program and appreciates the extra business. However, many dealerships won’t accept Replace Your Ride customers because the program takes so long to process each purchase. The excitement of picking out a vehicle and striking a deal starts the clock—actually, the calendar—on a wait of four to six weeks until the customer gets the car and the dealership gets the money. Hardy said there is a Honda dealership that is currently sitting on a million dollars in stock, waiting for the SCAQMD to release the funds.

For Jimenez, the wait is not a concern.

“I’m going to do my little research on it,” he said. “I have a couple friends that have switched over to electric vehicles, Teslas. It’s a lot cheaper to maintain than a regular car and it helps out the environment. Thumbs up for that.”

To find a participating car dealership, check eligibility, or learn how to apply for the Replace Your Ride program, visit


  1. I was approved. The big problem is the dealerships that allow you to use the voucher which the program offers. They inflate the price compared to other sellers. You could pick up the same car all over town for thousands less…any make or model I researched was always overpriced. Vendors normally mark up cars for negotiation room. That’s a given and most dont expect to pay sticker price unless shopping at a no-haggle dealer (and they are not on the approved vendors list). The approved vendors back out on any agreed negotiations once you mention the voucher. They are not keen about the wait time it takes to get paid. They feel like you are getting free money so you should not balk about the price padding. However, this is not free money. You are issued a 1099 so expect to be taxed as if you’d received cash. But you did not recieve cash. You received a voucher subject to price gouging at worst, and a poor deal at best. I hope Replace Your Ride makes the much needed adjustments for this, because the concept is great. If the plan is to level the playing field for lesser income people to go green, then the people should be able to do that. Paying thousands more for a car just to use the voucher ruins the concept.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Popular

New Long Beach Bridge Scheduled to Open Oct. 5

The new bridge will provide a higher passage for cargo ships, extra traffic lanes for trucks and cars, emergency lanes, greater resiliency in an earthquake and a 100-year minimum lifespan.

More Than Meets the Eye

San Pedro resident releases photobook of leading African-American figures and reflective quotes about mothers What do you see when...

La Bocca Felice: The Happy Mouth to Replace Pappy’s Seafood

This past June, Greg Morena, restaurateur and owner of Pappy’s, announced he was selling the historic restaurant location for $2.5 million. At...

During Climate Week 2020, Gov. Newsom to Host California Climate Action Day Highlighting California’s Global Leadership

The series of virtual conversations will cover topics including building the state’s climate resilience, implementing climate policies in an equitable way, aligning financial decision-making with climate realities and other subjects.

Recent Comments

Dan Rodemsky on Fog In the Media
The Anti-fascists are the Fascists on The Truth About Antifa
Scott Wallace on The Truth About Antifa
David C Lizarraga on Episode – San Pedro: The Podcast
Randomly Lengthly Walt on Republicans’ Revolt
Antifa are the real fascists on The Truth About Antifa
Artemis Gordon on The Truth About Antifa
Vicky Palesa Adam on Lung Health Tips for COVID-19
J.S on Icarus Falls
Ghost from your past! on Icarus Falls
Lisa Bennett on The Truth About Antifa
Dave on Icarus Falls
Kevin on Icarus Falls
DAVID J LEE on Think: George Floyd
M Mackey on Think: George Floyd
Michael S. Motta on Think: George Floyd
Thomas "HOUSE" Houchens on Think: George Floyd
Eliath Mena on Think: George Floyd
Deidre Powell on Think: George Floyd
Marcia Ladymgirl on Think: George Floyd
Jennifer L on Think: George Floyd
Carlos Fisher on Think: George Floyd
Jose "cheMMa" Rodriguz on Think: George Floyd
Aniza Thomas on Think: George Floyd
David Seay on Think: George Floyd
Marc LJ on Think: George Floyd
andre edwards on Think: George Floyd
Terelle Jerricks on From Pop Culture to Cop Culture
Sharon Hislop on Think: George Floyd
Fetteroff on Think: George Floyd
Raul Acevedo Jr. on Think: George Floyd
Mel Grayson on Think: George Floyd
Terelle Jerricks on A Virtual World of Events 
Alice r. Knoop on Lung Health Tips for COVID-19
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Joshua E Chambers on Take me to Sardine
Chad Dorchester on Take me to Sardine
Terelle Jerricks on Change Won’t Be Televised
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Bob Kohler on About
Judie M Barker on About
Kim Kaufman on Staff
Kim Kaufman on Staff
Vivian Morales on From War to Lowrider
Robin Doyno on Staff
Publisher on About
Joe Stackhouse on Advertise
Marshariki Haylock on A Stabbing in San Pedro
CARRIE MENDOZA on A Stabbing in San Pedro
Martin Palmiere EMC(SW) ret. on Trouble on the Iowa
Martin A.Palmiere EMC(SW) USN(ret.) on Trouble on the Iowa
John H Winkler on Frequently Asked Questions
J. McVey on Staff
Malou Mariano on Tampering and Collusion
Terrell Williams on The New Gap Band Fills The Gap
Alton C . Thompson, Ph. D. on About
Harold Ericsson on Letters to the Editor
Hillbinkel on Trouble on the Iowa
Ian Gordon on KKJZ Leaves CSULB Campus
larry lebedin on KKJZ Leaves CSULB Campus
Joseph Bianco on Frequently Asked Questions
Deborah Steed on Zerby Family Finds Solace
Don Griffin on Rosenberg
Pete on About
Anne Marie Knudsen on Clem Pennington is the Whole Package
Terelle Jerricks on About
Lyn Jensen on Go Retro with Records
Steven R. Heldt on Fig Trees Are Like Democracies
Joanne Sims on Peacocks, Paseo, Politics
Dave Borst-Smith on Peacocks, Paseo, Politics
Charles Traupmann on The Buscaino Report:
james P. Allen on Across the Great Divide
Allyson Vought on Across the Great Divide
PBinLostAngeles on RL NEWS Roundups: June 14, 2016
davehall on Voter Guide
Chris formica Gringos Tacos on Food Truck Blues
Random Lengths News on Iowa Fever
Tinisha Rodrique on IMG_1761
polos fred perry on Less Than a Side Show
cheap soccer jersey on Less Than a Side Show
le mahjong gratuit on The Surrealness of Knives and Breast
Harry and the Gang on Sherlock Holmes at the LB Playhouse
neufert architect s data pdf on IMG_1761
sewing machine reviews on Annie at the Warner Grand