Replace Your Ride Program

When you or someone in your family is out on the road, you want them to be as safe and secure as possible. At the same time, there is a growing need in California to reduce vehicle emissions in order to protect the environment and our natural resources. It can be difficult for a lot of families to upgrade their vehicles every few years to ensure they have the technology to achieve these goals. This is why the state of California has developed the Replace Your Ride program as a way for families to earn credit toward a new vehicle that is safer and more environmentally friendly. Learn more about the program and what it takes to qualify so going forward you can help out the community and your family.

Details of the Program

The Air Quality Management District, in cooperation with other state offices in California, is offering drivers up to $9,500 in credit for trading in an older vehicle, as a way to encourage people to upgrade to newer cars that are environmentally friendly. The goal is to get higher polluting cars off of the road to improve air quality. As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes in its 2008 emissions and fuel consumption study, vehicle age and accumulated mileage is a factor that plays into the rate at which any vehicle emits air pollutants.

The program is designed for individuals who live in households with a household income level at or below 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). For example, a family of four would be said to have a moderate income level if the total household income for the most recent year was at or below $71,550. In order to prove income levels for purposes of this program, you will be asked to provide a copy of your IRS Form 1040 or California Form 540 from the most recent tax filing year to determine income and the amount of individuals living in your household.

Can I Replace My Ride?

In addition to meeting criteria for your household income, the ability to replace your ride in Los Angeles also depends on making sure that your vehicle qualifies for the program. First and foremost, the vehicle that you want to trade in must have its title issued in your name, to be considered for the program. In addition, it must currently be operational with a complete tailpipe smog check or emissions test completed, and records with the state updated. The car must exceed an emission level for Model Year 2000 and newer vehicles, and be powered by either gasoline or diesel fuel. It must also weight 10,000 pounds or less when it comes to its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).

While this program is a great way for families to earn extra cash toward a new car, it is important to be aware of different circumstances that would disqualify you from participation. Once you retire an older vehicle and receive credit toward the purchase of a replacement car or alternative transportation option, such as mass transit, you are ineligible to receive the incentive again. Additionally, dismantled or salvaged vehicles that have not been re-registered in California pursuant to section 11519 of the Vehicle Code are also ineligible.

Non-profit organizations and businesses may not participate, nor can vehicles operated by a public agency or fleet, nor Model Year 2007 and newer. The final eligibility requirement is that a driver must reside within the jurisdiction of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). This agency regulates air pollution measures for all of Orange County, as well as the urban parts of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties in California.

What Can I Do with the Allowance?

According to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2013, drivers of older vehicles are more likely to be fatally injured in a crash, as compared to a driver in a newer vehicle. In addition to helping the environment by reducing vehicle emissions, this is a major reason that people take advantage of the Replace Your Ride program. Under the program, drivers are able to choose three different options when trading in their current vehicle for credit:

  • New VehicleYou can decide to apply the credit you receive toward a new vehicle that is eight years old or newer. Even if your trade-in credit doesn’t cover the full cost of a new car or truck, you can work with lenders for assistance with financing. You could qualify for even more rebates and cash back!
  • Advanced TechnologyUse your trade-in credit to put toward the purchase of a new hybrid, plug-in, or electric vehicle and do even more for the environment. Ask about financing assistance and special programs for this option as well.
  • Public TransitYou can also use this program to trade in your existing vehicle and get discounts on rideshare and transit options. This applies to Zipcar, vanpooling through vRide, or deals on a pass for public transportation.

The incentive is to be able to retire your old car and help you get into an option that is more fuel efficient, better for the environment, and safer overall, whether this is with a used car made in the last eight years, a new one off the lot, or discounts on mass transit. Educating yourself on the requirements of the program and what you are able to do with the money makes it easier to choose to trade in your vehicle for a new one.

Once you have made the decision to participate in the program, it is important to visit your local dealership to get the process started. The experts at North Hollywood Toyota can assist with checking your eligibility and provide more information on the best cars or trucks to purchase as your new vehicle. Learn more about the Replace Your Ride program today by calling North Hollywood Toyota at (800) 800-6730 or by visiting the programs official website at