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Donate Your Car to Charity

Hey mom, have the kids gone off to school and is it time to trade in “mom’s taxi” for something a lot more fun?

Or, does your hubby have some old piece of junk just gathering rust on the driveway that you would love for him to finally get rid of?

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Why don’t you think of doing something good with those old rides, and donate them to charity?

There are many such organizations that are more than willing to accept your old vehicle as a charitable donation.

Selling a car on your own is never easy. There is the hassle of placing classified ads and showing the vehicle. You never know who will show up, or if they will go through with the transaction. If you have ever traded in a car towards the purchase of a new vehicle, then you know that dealers rarely give you what the car is worth.

Donating your car to charity is a great alternative. It avoids all of the hassles of a trade-in, or private sale. You receive the full “book value” of your car as a tax deduction, and more often than not – you end up helping a family in need.

Where Can I Donate My Car to Charity?

There are many charitable organizations that accept vehicles as donations. Some resell the cars and any proceeds go to benefit the given charity, others will use the donated cars within the charity, and still, others actually fix up the car and provide it at no charge to a needy family.

In any case, and no matter whom you choose to donate your vehicle to, the process couldn’t be simpler – your car does not even need to be running for it to be accepted for donation. Usually, you can fill out all of the paperwork online, you receive a receipt for your tax deduction, and the charity arranges for a towing service to pick up the vehicle. Some charities offer other incentives or “bonuses” to thank you for your donation, such as vouchers for trips, hotel stays, or restaurants.

The program does not only apply to cars. Charities that accept vehicles for donation will usually accept RVs, motorcycles, or boats as well.

Car Donation Tips

To be sure, donating a car to charity is a much more meaningful alternative to a junkyard. However, before you decide to donate your vehicle, there are a few tips that the experts suggest to make sure the charity is legitimate, and your car donation is actually serving the purpose you intend. Of course, if a charity you are already a regular contributor to accepts cars for donation – that is a good place to start, as is your house of worship.

Avoid middlemen. If possible, try not to use a service that advertises aggressively and claims they accept cars for donations for charities. These “middlemen” typically keep the majority of the proceeds from the donated car for themselves and only funnel a small amount to the charity.

Also, keep in mind that in order to receive the full tax benefit of a car donation, you must be sure that the charity you are donating to is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) organization. You can find details of reputable charities at


Some Charities That Accept Cars to Consider:

American Diabetes Association –

American Lung

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About Cynthia Lechan-Goodman

One comment

  1. Glad you didn’t mention Kars for Kids. I have nothing but admiration for our Jewish community but their charity is ranked quite low.

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