The Top 10 Donated Cars


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That car has been sitting in the garage for a year now. Chances are you are not going to be taking it out anytime soon either. You might not realize the good it could be doing someone who needs a helping hand. Donating a car to charity not only frees up space for you, but it supplies money that goes to feed the hungry, help low income families pay their utility bills or buy books for a local library.

Now that you know the car can do something other than drip grease on the floor of the garage, you wonder if it is in good enough shape to donate. Nobody has taken the time to get the oil changed or give a good washing lately. What kind of car do charities take anyway?

Does it have to Run?

The ideal donation is a running vehicle. Organizations that manage car donations for charity will take it whether it runs or not, however. A non running car still has value – the best scenario is a car that starts, though. It doesn’t have to be washed recently – no need to get it detailed or anything like that. If it has minor mechanical issues, that is okay too. What is important is that you want to give. That is the starting point. From there, the details get less complex.
The only real requirement is that you own the car outright with no lien holders. The collection company sells the cars or uses the parts. In order to do this, they must have the title. If you don’t have a copy of the documentation, they can help you obtain it.

Does it have to be a Sedan?

Absolutely not – charities are not looking for family cars. They use the funds, not the vehicle. Once you donate, auto experts will take the vehicle and sell or salvage it. That means any type transportation works for their needs. They take:

  • Cars
  • Vans
  • Trucks
  • RVs

They can even use motorcycles or boats with a trailer.

What Charity gets the Money?

That is up to you. When you decide to donate, you can go to the website and select the charity of your choice. You can donate to the Breast Cancer Fund, for example, or Mercy for Animals. Take your time and pick a charity that means something to you.

How to Donate?

You have two options; you can donate via a website form or call to talk to a real live person. Get some information together when you are ready. You need:

  • Make and model of the car
  • Year
  • Mileage – guess if you are not sure
  • VIN

The vehicle identification number, or VIN, is on the title, registration or insurance card. You can also locate it at the base of the windshield on the driver’s side. The managing organization will arraign a convenient pick up time with you. Before they can take the car, you must provide a signed title.

Is this a Tax Deductible?

That is the beauty of car donation. Most of the time, once the car is sold, you get a charity receipt that your tax professional can use for your return. It is a win-win situation. You give to a worthy nonprofit organization and benefit from your generosity at the same time.

Top 10 List of Cars Donated to Charity*

  • Buick Regal
  • Chrysler Town & Country
  • Honda Accord
  • Nissan Maxima
  • Ford F150
  • Toyota Camry
  • Volkswagen Jetta
  • Volkswagen Passat
  • Dodge Caravan
  • BMW 3 series

*Based on donations January 2013 through June 2013

More To Explore

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