Cars for Schools Program Update

The Cars for Schools program has provided vehicles retired through the Bureau of Automotive Repair’s (BAR) Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) to publicly funded automotive technical training programs since 2020. Instructors use the vehicles for lecture demonstrations and hands-on training in general automotive repair, Smog Check training, auto body, and hybrid technology classes. The Cars for Schools program has grown since schools returned to in-person classes in the fall of 2022. To date, 34 schools have signed memorandums of understanding with BAR to participate in the program which includes 16 high schools, 5 regional occupational programs, and 13 community colleges. Fifty-eight vehicles, including six hybrids, have been loaned to schools since expansion resumed. Participating schools are located throughout California, including the San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Valley, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, and the Inland Empire. Approximately 70% of the schools are in or near disadvantaged communities.1

In response to a recent BAR survey, instructors noted that they appreciated the low participation cost; the opportunity to request a specific vehicle make, model, and model year; the ability to exchange vehicles; and the convenience of utilizing the vehicle for class assignments without concerns about damaging the vehicle. Suggested improvements to the program included assistance in delivering vehicles to the schools, supplying vehicle reports detailing the condition of the vehicle and reason for retirement, and increasing the number of vehicles schools can request each year.

During a presentation at the July 2023 Bureau Advisory Group (BAG) meeting, CAP Program Manager Denise Cunningham addressed the challenges and opportunities of the Cars for Schools program and shared suggestions offered by instructors. BAG members and meeting attendees commented on the importance of the program and offered the support of their organizations. To learn more about the Cars for Schools program, visit the Cars for Schools webpage. Educators seeking more information on school eligibility may contact the Cars for Schools program coordinator at

1 References communities designated as disadvantaged by the California Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to Senate Bill 535 (Chapter 830, Statutes of 2012).

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