How To Donate a Car to Charity

Donating things to charity is an activity that many people have already taken to heart. In support of our less-fortunate brothers and sisters, many local and international organizations have made it their life’s mission to improve the lives of others through organized, effective acts of charity. In cases such as these, these groups and organizations provide other people with avenues by which they can donate clothes, books, toys, and basically any item that they feel would be a help to those people who need it most. Charitable organizations hardly say no to any type of donation because they are thinking that any kind of help, big or small, is very much welcome, as they will use these items to improve the lives of others. A large chunk of these items are quite small, and can be carried around and easily distributed to those in need. But what happens when you decide to donate an old car?

There are a number of things to keep in mind if you are looking to donate your car. First, you will need to be wary. A car is a large investment, is a large thing to donate both physically and by property value. Be sure that the charity you would like to donate the car to is a legitimate, recognized charity. You will need to know if the charity itself accepts donations of that size – while a car is a large donation, there are a few charities, which do not accept this type of donation, because the paperwork involved may be too much of a hassle for them to process.

If you are looking to donate a car, chances are there are a few shady characters that will want to take it from you even before the car gets to the charity. Avoid middlemen at all costs. These people may promise to help you out, but then eventually they either steal your car or get you into a legal mess of paperwork that will ensure that neither you nor the charity will ever see that car again.

If you are considering donating a car due to a tax deduction as well, you will need to find out how much of the car’s value will be given to the charity itself. With regard to taxes, some charities will only be able to declare the car at a fixed, lower value – probably much less than the resale value of the car itself. If this is a cause for concern from your end, be sure to clear things up with the charity before tax time comes to ensure that you don’t get yourself into even more paperwork. You will also need to be sure that the charity you are giving the car to is an IRS-recognized charity, so that you can write off the car donation as a tax deduction. All of the non-profit organizations that are affiliated with the IRS – and thus are recognized as charities that can give tax breaks for worthy donations – are published in a list that can be found online. Simply log on to the IRS website and search for Publication 78. Publication 78 contains all of the charities and non-profit organizations that are recognized by the government body, which can then equate into a sizable tax deduction for you.


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