All Revved Up and No Place to Go

The standards for cars to enjoy HOV-lane access get elevated in July, and finding a car that meets them is not an easy process.

I’m on the waiting list for a new car. This is the second time I’ve been through this. The first was back in early 2004, when my prize was a second-generation Prius. I waited less than 90 days and got lucky when some real-housewife-of-Orange-County type returned to the dealer a cute little black model her husband had surprised her with as a holiday gift. After I bought it, I wasted no time in obtaining the coveted “clean air decal” from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which allowed me to travel as a solo driver in the car pool lane. As I worked in both our downtown L.A. and Irvine offices, the car pool lane access was a cherished feature of this vehicle.

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