Donate Your Car to Charity

“Cash for Clunkers” may be over and done with, but you can still do something good with that old car. Consider donating it to charity. There are many such organizations that are more than willing to accept your old vehicle as a charitable donation.

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Car 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.

Car donation 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.

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 paper work online, you receive a receipt for your tax deduction, and the charity arranges for 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.

To be sure, car donation 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 donations are actually serving the purpose intended. 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 http://www.charitynavigator.org/. Statistics in Wikipedia show that 733,000 taxpayers got the benefits of donating their car to charities and reduced their taxes by $ 654 million. These numbers are growing rapidly. Selling a used car can be very time-consuming, and expensive. Advertisements will need to be placed in leading dailies, which is an expensive proposition. Then there is the tension of waiting for interested parties to come and check out your car before buying it.