Article authored by Matt Woodcheke, Consumer Connection staff
Question: My car needs expensive repairs to pass Smog Check and I don’t know if I should put money into it or cut my losses. What do you recommend?
Answer: The Bureau of Automotive Repair’s (BAR) Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) offers a pair of options to help you repair or retire your vehicle. Participation is based on meeting eligibility requirements and the availability of funds each fiscal year.
Under the first option, you may be eligible to receive up to $500 in emission-related repairs. To participate, you must meet specific income and program requirements, and the repairs must be performed at one of over 2,000 participating Smog Check stations statewide.
Your other choice is to retire the vehicle from operation rather than repair it. Income-eligible consumers who meet program requirements may receive $1,500—all other eligible consumers may receive $1,000. The vehicle must be retired at a BAR-contracted auto dismantler.
To review eligibility requirements for both CAP options and to apply online, visit BAR’s website, www.bar.ca.gov.
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