Here in Texas, we have a special program for car owners and those seeking to get into a newer, more fuel efficient vehicle. The AirCheck program, believe it or not, is now in its eighth year and still going strong. Started in 2002, for limited counties and with limited resources, the AirCheck program has grown to cover most of Texas with a Texas-sized budget. The program has been such a success that the nationwide “Cash for Clunkers” was modeled after it.
AirCheck Texas offers consumers the option of applying for repairs for their current ride, or a voucher for $3000 toward trading in your old ride for a new more fuel efficient vehicle. The idea has always been to remove older, more polluting vehicles from Texas roadways. This, in turn, will help the air quality all around Texas, but will bring the highest impact in counties with high ground-level ozone.
There are income requirements and vehicle limitations, as with any government program, but it’s really quite easy to apply and to get approved. Vehicle requirements include things like the vehicle must be at least 10 years or older, must drive under its own power to the dealership, and must be registered in your participating county area for 12 consecutive months. The vehicle you purchase must meet emission requirements, known as Tire 2 Bin 5, or cleaner. Cars must be built within the past 4 years and trucks built in the past 3 years. The cost of the vehicle cannot be more than $25,000 (before tax) and the dealer you purchase from must be a participating dealer. To find more information on how to apply and what dealers accept the voucher check out driveacleanmachine.org.