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How Do You Sell A Car That Is PNO, Planned Non-Operation Status?

Declaring your car as having Planned Non-Operation status might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but now is making it more difficult to actually sell. We get it. Who wants to keep paying for registration and insurance on a car they aren’t even using. That’s just a giant waste of money down the drain that can be used for much better things. It may seem like a daunting task ahead of you, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re going to help you find it.

How To Sell A PNO car in California?

It’s finally time to get rid of that eye sore of a car you’ve had sitting at your place for who knows how long. That car has been taking up space that you can use for so many other things, and has just become a bit of a nuisance in your day to day life. Of course, you designated it as a PNO car in California, so that means you’re going to have to jump through some hoops to get it back to point where you can sell it. Does that mean you’ll have to get insurance for it again? No, thankfully not. But you will have to do a few other things to make sure the state approves of your upcoming transaction.

  • Step One: You’re going to have to get your Planned Non-Operational vehicle smog checked. This is a big rule in California, and you won’t be able to get the car registered without having it properly smog checked. How are you going to do that when you can’t legally drive it to a smog checking facility? Well, if you have a towing service you can use inexpensively, then you can have it towed to the smog check, and then towed back. This is how you can get around driving illegally. This might be the time when your Triple AAA membership really pays off. Just remember to get this done before you try to register it, or they’ll laugh you out of the DMV.
  • Step Two: It sounds crazy, because you know you’re not planning on keep the car around, but you’re going to have to get it registered with the DMV again. That is going to be a necessary move in having your PNO status removed. Even though it seems counterintuitive, it’s part of the process of an entirely legal transaction. It will help down the road for anything else you need to do at the DMV, because this car will no longer be looming over your head. One step closer to having your space back, and maybe filling it with a car you actually want to drive.
  • Step Three: Transferring ownership. This involves a transfer of title between two parties, and that buying party reregistering the car in their name. Done. You have officially sold your PNO car, and can move on with your life to greener pastures, or smoother highways, as the case may be.
  • If these routes seem like too much work, you can always retire your vehicle with the state of California. This is a way they keep higher polluting vehicles off of the road. You’ll only get somewhere between $250-$500, but they’ll take it off you hands and most likely send it on its way to scrapyard heaven. If you don’t want any fuss, this might be the best option for you to take in getting rid of your PNO vehicle.

The last method involves what’s called “A Gentleman’s Agreement”. That means that you have a signed agreement with the buyer stating that they know your vehicle hasn’t passed the smog check, and that they agree to take care of it before it is driven, or registered. Once the buyer signs this, and you transfer the title, they are now the owner of your PNO vehicle under they onus that they have to get it fixed.

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