Home / Tips / How to donate a car to charity?

How to donate a car to charity?

Have you ever wondered how to donate a car to charity? If the thought has crossed your mind and you are planning to do this extraordinary act in your life, here is everything you need to know about it to help you make an informed decision for peace of mind that your goodwill goes as you wish.

How do I donate a car?

Choose the charity you know, support and trust.

Find one with a reputable organization. Look for one that would directly accept your car donation and not just act as a third party mediator. The last resort should be giving it to intermediary agencies, to ensure that the whole or significant amount of the proceeds goes to your chosen charity rather than in the pockets of middlemen handlers. If you have to go with them, research the percentage of where the proceeds will go to maximize your donation’s benefits.

Do a research.

It could prove frustrating to want to help out and be thrust with fraud and scams instead. Look up answers to these questions to avoid this risk and ensure your good intention is followed through by the charity:

  • What are their plans?
  • Where will your car go and how will it be used?
  • What programs will receive the funds?
  • Is the organization recognized by the IRS?

Call the charity.

All you need to do is fill out their form, then they will evaluate your car and schedule the pick up date. This gives you the convenience of having nothing else to do, charities will pick it up for you as soon as the next day and handle the entire donation process and give you the receipt needed for filing taxes. Some cars only get declined if towing will prove more expensive than its face value. The charities then sell your vehicle at retail or auction outlets, or use in in their operations to make use of funds.

Personally deliver it.

Charities shoulder towing expenses, so if your car is running then you could go the extra mile by driving the car off to the charity, the towing money then goes directly to them while you feel more gratified.

Don’t miss on important paperwork.

Most charities accept all cars even if it’s not in working condition. What they do what is like an appraisal based on your car’s appearance, age, mechanical standing, and of course should still have the engine and can be towed.

They basically need your car’s title and keys but you should know the following how to’s:

  • complete a title transfer
  • get a duplicate title
  • cancel your registration
  • complete a release of liability form

The tax requirements vary for each state, some require surrendering license plates, submitting a sold notice or none at all. It depends on your car’s value, say if it’s worth more than $500, section A of the IRS Form 8283 needs to be completed, while a $5000 vehicle requires Section B of the IRS Form 8283 completed, altogether important in preventing tax audits. This is a win-win situation because the act of helping out and giving immediately gives you something in return, in the form of a tax deduction, based from the fair market value if the charity will actually use the car in their operations or give to someone who needs it, or based on the amount for which it was sold.

These steps give full insight on how to donate your car. Make sure you formally sign your car over, this does not mean being pessimistic but only observing carefulness so you’re guaranteed free from any liability any irresponsible handling can do, like getting car tickets for it or worse, with the car being used for theft or crime. This is a much more rewarding experience rather than selling or trading your car, may you find these helpful and good luck in making a big difference in this world!