Retire your ride

Get rid of that old polluter!

Current statistics from the federal government state that more than 50,000 vehicles have been registered under its "Retire Your Ride" program. This program encourages people to get rid of the higher-polluting vehicles and purchase something that is more environmentally friendly.

Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice says the program has taken about 2,250 tonnes of smog-forming pollutants from the atmosphere since it was introduced last January.

Retire Your Ride offers a variety of incentives to Canadians who turn in vehicle older cars. The models from 1995 or earlier are targeted as being 19 times more polluting than 2004 and newer models.

The program is administered by a network of non-profit groups. The rewards vary by region and may include such items as rebates on bicycle purchases, free transit passes, $300 cash per vehicle or membership in a car-sharing program.

You will need to prove that your vehicle was insured for the past year so you might need some help from your broker or agent. Usually proof of insurance is either a letter or a liability card. Few people will have a current "pink" card that is exactly within the one year period.

Some of the manufacturers are also giving Retire Your Ride rebates. Click here to check out the website.