A smattering of linky goodness:
From The Archives: May 2009
With the exception of my ‘77 Toyota Corolla, aka the “Blue Fryer,” I loved my Subaru Outback, aka the “Sube,” more than any car I’ve ever owned. It’s not that she was particularly reliable or easy on the gas pump. But she had an indescribable something about the way she handled that made her special.
Anyways, I use the past tense because, true to form, a few months ago, with a dramatic flourish of white smoke and cessation of mechanical thrust, little miss Sube abruptly announced her decision to go on permanent hiatus. After a wonderful twenty-mile tow back to home base, inspection revealed that repair costs might outstrip wholesale bluebook. Since she was a dozen years old anyways, it was time to put her to pasture.
Thus began the disposal process. With the economy as it is, Craigslist ads elicited the chirps of crickets. And getting a junkyard to take her was like trying to feed brussel sprouts to a five-year-old. To make a long story short, an online car-junking service finally offered to make her disappear, with a free tow and milk money as compensation. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I quickly accepted.
But it didn’t have to be that way. Turns out that your local or state government might pay you large sums of bonafide cash to retire your hunk-o-junk. For example, these California-based programs that offer up to $1k for your auto:
- California Bureau Of Automotive Repair Vehicle Retirement Program
- Bay Area Air Quality Managament District Buyback Program
If you live in a blue state, chances are that there’s a program for you, too! In most cases, with but a single catch: the vehicle must be driven to the dismantler under its own power. So that you can’t get rich by clearing out Uncle Pappy’s countryside stash of rusty autos. You gotta be proactive – once the car doesn’t drive anymore, it’s too late.
Next time, I’ll most certainly select the “wad of bills” option, rather than the immobile and imminently-ticketable hunk of scrap metal.
Update: As of July 2009, if you’ve got a low-mpg car, model year 1984 or later, you’ve hit the jackpot: Cash For Clunkers!