Donate Your Vehicle & Get Paid Cash for It

Before you donate a car to charity, make sure you know what you’re doing. Learn what to look for and what to avoid — and what your other options are. JunkCarMasters can help.

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You can’t miss the ads. Online, on TV, and on the radio, you’ll regularly hear a plea for you to donate a car today to a charity. But cars are expensive to buy, so do people really donate vehicles to charity? Why would they do such a thing, and is it even legit?

Automobile donation is a real thing. If you check the IRS website, you’ll find information on car donations, proving that it’s an honest, above-board way to get rid of your car. It gives you clear information on how to file the paperwork, but it doesn’t explain how to donate a car or where to trade in a car.

Benefits Of Donating A Car To Charity

Charitable giving is obviously a good thing to do, but why donate my car? Wouldn’t it be better to sell the car and give money instead?

When you donate a car to charity, it gives you three things:

  • It gives you time. Selling a car is a lengthy process that takes several hours. Have you ever calculated what you think your time is worth? If you have a junk car to either sell or donate to charity, your time could easily be worth more than the money you’ll get selling it.
  • It gives you security. Who knows what can happen when you sell a car? Instead of meeting someone you don’t know for a test drive and to haggle on price, you can stay safe and secure at home. You can just search for online car donation sites.
  • Most of all, it does something good. Making a vehicle donation to charity helps people or causes in your community.

What to Watch Out For When Donating Your Old Car

Like anything, charities that accept car donations aren’t always on the up and up. You need to do your research to make sure the charity has tax-exempt status and can legally issue you a donation receipt.

It’s a great idea to vet the charity’s operations, trying to understand better what they do with your vehicle and how it helps. As well, you should ask how much of the vehicle sale proceeds go directly to the charity.

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With more car donation services popping up every year, there’s a higher chance of getting scammed. It could be anything from a person who takes your vehicle to resell it for personal profit, a charity that squanders the money they receive, or a charity that says they support a cause while actually doing something different with your vehicle.

Ask questions from any charity that wants your vehicle and don’t proceed to donate a car unless it all checks out.

How to Donate a Car

Ready to donate your car to a charity? The process is quite simple.

  • Have your title in hand. Without a clear title in hand, there’s no legal transfer of ownership to the charity, and no one can legally sell a car without a title. Just like selling a car or trading it in at a dealership, you’ll absolutely need your car’s title.
  • Determine its fair market value. Typically, junk cars and older vehicles are used as a donation vehicle. While it might not be a lot, you should know how much your car is worth so you get an accurate donation receipt for tax purposes.
  • Find charities that accept car donations. There will be several charities in your city that accept vehicle donations. If there’s a particular charity you’d like to give it to, call them directly. Otherwise, find listings for your local charities with a simple online search using the phrase “local charities that accept car donations”. Find one that suits you.

Where To Donate An Old Car

Of the dozens or hundreds of charities near you, there are some that routinely advertise that they accept car donations. is a popular option that serves a wide range of communities in the United States for – you guessed it – online car donation. One benefit that’s rather unique is that people can apply to receive a donated vehicle from their service.

Your local humane society or SPCA probably runs campaigns throughout the year that offer opportunities to donate used and junk vehicles.

Research and awareness organizations such as Heart and Stroke, Kidney Foundation, and Veterans Affairs groups are also popular car donation sites.

The point is this: there is no shortage of places that are willing to take your unwanted car in exchange for a donation receipt.

Or, Choose JunkCarMasters

If you’d prefer another option instead of donating a vehicle to charity, check out JunkCarMasters. We turn broken cars into cash quickly. We’ll give you a cash offer for your vehicle, no matter what condition it’s in. You’ll be paid fast and we’ll pick up the car from where it sits.

It takes just 90 seconds to get an offer, with FREE towing and title transfer included, and all our offers are guaranteed for seven days so you have time to think it over. Once you’re ready to sell, we can come to you in 24-48 hours to pick up your car and hand you your payment.

With cash in hand, you can do what you’d like. Put a down payment on a new car, have a night on the town, or make a cash donation to your local charity. The choice is yours!

Is It Worth It To Donate A Car?

It depends on what your goal is. If you want to make a donation to a charity but you don’t have cash on hand, a car donation will do. However, if you want to maximize your potential donation to a charity or significantly impact your taxes with deductions, a car donation might not be the best route.

It also depends on the condition of the car and the goal of the charity. If you’re trying to do a good deed and have a car in decent condition, you can donate it to a charity that provides vehicles to individuals or families in need, for example. However, such a charity would probably not have much use for a junk or non-running car.

Sometimes, the best option for you is to sell your car instead. JunkCarMasters can help you do just that, taking the fuss and hassle out of selling your junk car and making it easy and simple instead! Get an offer in 90 seconds and get paid in 24-48 business hours for your car with our team.

How Much Tax Credit Do You Get For Donating A Car?

It depends on the value of the car and what the charity does with it. If your charity sells the vehicle, you can deduct the amount the charity sold the vehicle for. Caveat: if they sell it for less than $500, you can claim a flat $500.

If the charity provides the vehicle to a needy family to use, you can deduct the fair market value of the car instead.

It’s important to keep in mind that the standard deduction for any tax filer is $12,400. If you donated less than $12,400 worth of goods or cash in a tax year, then it may not make sense to itemize your donations and try to track what it’s worth. Instead, it would make more sense to simply claim the standard deduction.

Can I Donate A Car That Doesn’t Run?

You can donate a car that doesn’t run, but the only thing a charity can do with it is try to sell it at an auction. Typically, they aren’t experienced enough to get the maximum value out of your car, so this may not be the most financially efficient way of benefiting a charity.

In this case, it may make more sense to sell your car instead with a service like JunkCarMasters. With free towing and title transfer included in our offers, we can help you maximize what you get for your vehicle quickly and without the fuss. After you accept an offer, we come to you in 24-48 business hours and pay you on the spot.

Once you get your payment from JunkCarMasters, you can make a cash donation, which is easier for the charity of your choice to put to use, and simpler to document in taxes.

It’s a Quick and Easy Process


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