Tap to Read ➤

Things You Must Know About Donating Your Car to Charity

Parashar Joshi
Donating your personal belongings to charity is a good thing to do. Through car donation programs, you can even donate your old cars to charitable organizations. Here's some more information on how you can go about this process, and the benefits that it offers in return.
Usually, the items that people donate to charity consist of old clothes, shoes, mattresses, sometimes even an outdated television or a tape recorder. However, there are also a few car donation programs through which you can donate your old car to charity. Here are answers to some questions regarding the same.

Why to Donate

Any belongings that are donated to charity are put to use in an appropriate way. If your car is in decent working condition, it will either be used by the charity organization itself, or it will be donated to struggling families as well as families affected by natural calamities, and in urgent need of help.
If your vehicle is not in working condition, it is auctioned off to other charities that are willing to undertake the necessary repair costs and use it subsequently.
In case the car cannot be repaired, its individual car parts and spares are sold to garages and service centers. Thus, this helps under-privileged families and also contributes towards recycling and maintaining a clean environment.

How to Donate

There are many authorized charitable organizations in the U.S., which accept all types of vehicles ranging from bikes, cars, trucks, and vans, to fishing boats, regardless of the condition they are in.
Locate the charity that is nearest to you and get in touch with their officials. After your vehicle has been approved, the charities dispatch tow trucks to your address, pick up your vehicle, and issue a receipt. The process does not involve any towing cost.


Donating a car to charity through an authorized, legal program entitles the car owner to some benefits. The most significant advantage lies in the form of tax deductions.
As per the revised U.S. Tax laws of 2005, a person who donates his car to a recognized 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is entitled to receive a certain amount of tax deduction in accordance with the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) regulations.
The amount that is waived mainly depends on whether the charity uses the car itself, or whether it auctions it to a third party. Other associated factors are the physical condition of the car and its present resale market value.

Tips for Car Donors

Here are some guidelines and tips for car donors:
  • Verify the credentials of the charity before you donate your car. There are a few organizations which pretend to be charities but are, in fact, business organizations looking to make profits out of such deals.
  • Make sure you receive your donation receipt and tax deduction certificate as soon as possible, as you are entitled to a tax waiver only if you have a valid certificate.
  • Familiarize yourself with the IRS laws and regulations. It will help you to understand the tax benefits that you can avail of.
  • It is advisable to keep a photocopy of your car documents and registration details even after donating the vehicle. You may require them in the future.
You just need to make sure that you donate your vehicle to the right organization, so as to avoid disappointment at a later stage.