That huge STOP sign at the top that says we need to take his car in to get a SMOG check at a TEST ONLY station. (Which in English reads-- your car is so old we make you go to the more expensive test sites to bill you more money for your SMOG check to make up for the smaller amount you pay to register your vehicle each year.)
But here's the real kicker...It also didn't tell us we needed to take it in to get a regular SMOG at any center.
The STOP sign is not on our notice... we just have to pay $82.00 to register his car.
I have no idea why we don't have to SMOG his car this year. SMOG checks are required every 2 years for cars older than 6 years and his car qualifies for that... but we assumed he would have to get his car checked over again because when we had it transferred from Utah to California in February we only had to pass out of state emission levels.... not California standards... so we just assumed we'd have to face the SMOG check...
But apparently we don't!!! So it looks like we get to keep the car for another year!!!! Which is fantastic because it gives us time to save up some money to replace it later down the line.
We really don't think it will pass CA emission standards the next time around and according to KBB, the trade in value of his car is $319.00 or $694 private party since he has a '91 ford Escort with 141,561 miles on it... and its not a looker... its a clunker. BUT it runs and for as long as it runs and passes SMOG its our wonderful commuter car with character.
But realistically, if we come across a repair that's going to cost us more then the car is worth to make it pass SMOG, it might be time to retire the 20 year old mighty engine that could.
There's also a little silver lining in what we could get for the car when we go to part with it. As long as we take it to a CAP- Contracted Dismantle Place under the cars own power and it has:
- All Doors
- at least one side window glass
- drivers seat
- one bumper
- exhaust system
- all side and or quarter panels
- at least one headlight, one taillight, and one break light
- has operational pedals
- can go 10 yards on its own power
- drive ability not affected by steering or suspension damage
- and if it can start through ordinary means without the use of starting fluids or external boost batteries
The program is administered by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) and provides $1,000 per vehicle and $1,500 for low-income consumers for unwanted vehicles that have either FAILED or PASSED their last Smog Check Test and that meet certain eligibility guidelines.
Basically we can receive $1000 for his car, or $1500 for his car if we classify as "low income." There's a few things you have to do to qualify to retire your car, (apply and get your letter, then drive the car up to a dismantle site-- it also needs to have a clean title in your name only) but they pay you on the spot... and since his car is worth less then what we could get for turning it in or selling it private party, this looks to be our best option for when we need to let it "rest."
They require all those parts to be on the cars so people don't try paying $100 for a car to turn it into $1,000.00 by towing it to the site.