How To Find A Used Car Donation Program & Get A Tax Deduction For A Charity Car Donation

by Lynnette

charities, selling things, Taxes 101

Donate your old used car to charity this year. My mom and brother have donated cars to charity.

From their experience, I learned a few things about the process.

The biggest thing I learned: It’s so quick and simple!

Here’s how to donate a car to the charity of your choice…


How To Donate A Car To Charity

You just call the charity of your choice 24/7 and leave a message (or complete their online form). They call you back and arrange a pick-up date.

The type of car and its condition are not even important. They will take virtually any vehicle — running or not. (Exceptions may include older vehicles whose value would not offset the cost of towing.) My brother’s car was definitely on its last legs, and not even running anymore.

These car donation centers don’t delay either… they want your vehicle right away.

So if you’ve got a junker just sitting there taking up space, give ’em a call. Odds are, you can have it gone within a couple of days. It’s completely free and you get a tax write-off for it!

A few years ago, there were some changes that affect the amount that you can deduct however…


Car Donation Tax Deduction Info

The biggest news for vehicle donations is this:

You can no longer automatically deduct the Fair Market Value of your vehicle. President Bush signed the American Jobs Creation Act into law which reduced the deduction allowed for vehicles donated to most charities after December 31, 2004.

As a result, the value of your donation made to a vehicle donation program is:

  • The sale price (determined after the vehicle is sold by the charity) — if more than $500


  • A maximum fair market value up to $500 — if sold by the charity for less than $500

(The charity must inform you of the amount the vehicle sold for within 30 days of selling the vehicle.)

Restrictions to this apply IF your total charitable contributions exceed 20% of your adjusted gross income.

Here’s everything you need to know about donating a car to charity.

Car Donation Centers To Consider

Some companies will arrange for the pickup of your car and give you a tax receipt in return. Others (like Kars 4 Kids) will give you other small incentives as well:

Kars 4 Kids — your vehicle donation to this organization benefits Joy for Our Youth (JOY), an international organization providing for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of distressed and at-risk youth AND you get a free vacation!

Vehicle Donation to Any Charity.
Vehicle Donation To Any Charity (V-DAC) — endorsed by Tom & Ray, the CarTalk guys (aka “Click & Clack”)… here’s why.

America’s Car Donation Charities Center — They have processed over 500,000 car donations for hundreds of charities since 1992!

800-Charity-Cars — They are the first and only national charity of its kind that provides donated vehicles free of charge to struggling families willing to work and become self-sufficient, tax-paying members of the community.