Which Car Donation Charities Are Legit?

Before you donate your car to charity, do you research to make sure you pick the right organization.

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Donating a used car to charity can be a super convenient way to dispose of an old vehicle, reap a decent tax reward, and benefit someone less fortunate than you.

However, as with any donation, you want to make sure whichever organization is getting your old-faithful is legit. In order to do that, it’s crucial that you understand what usually happens when you donate your car to charity.

First and foremost, the majority of charities aren’t handling the vehicle donation process themselves. Simply put, those processes cost too much money and need too much manpower to accomplish (manpower, which, most charities don’t have on deck).

They outsource to commercial or nonprofit fundraising organizations, which take care of the details, take their percentage of the proceeds, and forward the rest to the charity.

If the percentage of the proceeds that goes to the charity matters to you, then it is imperative to donate through organizations with a strong reputation for giving 75% or more of the net proceeds to the charity. Anything below 60% would be considered unacceptable and not an organization you would want to use.

Furthermore, you want to be aware of what the charities actually do with your donated vehicle. Some vehicles end up being “parted out.” This is where their reusable pieces are removed and sold for profit, including the remaining scrap metal of the vehicle’s frame.

Other cars are auctioned off, especially the fully functioning ones. Auctioned vehicle can generate an average anywhere from $300 to $3,500.

Legitimate Places To Donate Your Cars To Charity

Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program - The proceeds from your donation go to supporting your local NPR station.

Donate A Car - Not an actual charity, Donate A Car is a vehicle donation service that picks up and auctions your car. They then allow you to choose one of its 300 charity partners to receive the profits.

Charitable Adult Rides & Services - CARS is another nonprofit vehicle donation service that aids charities. They allow you to choose any charity to benefit from the proceeds and has several other facets to their model, including providing meals to seniors.

Goodwill - While known mainly for clothes and household goods, Goodwill accepts any and all kinds of vehicles including (but not limited to) commercial and fleet vehicles. They utilize the proceeds for employment training and job-placement programs.

Wheels For Wishes - A car donation program that specifically benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Things To Keep In Mind

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Donating a car to a charity isn’t as simple as dropping off a bag of clothes. There are things to keep in mind once you decide to donate your car:

The costs and fees associated with the donation process will cut into the gross sale price (and, therefore, your tax deduction). These include, but are not limited to, towing fees, title transfer fees, and auction and dismantling fees.

Scams. Scams. Scams. Scammers have a heavy presence within the car donation industry. They will impersonate charity auction houses and subtract high expenses, ultimately only giving you a fraction of the proceeds.

JunkCarMasters & Donating To Charity

To avoid the pitfalls associated with donating cars to charity, contact JunkCarMasters. We specialize in buying less-than-perfect cars quickly. Our Associate buyers can give you a quote for your vehicle within 90 seconds.

Getting your car off your hands quickly, you’ll have the cash to then donate to the charity of your choice. Without the need to auction off your vehicle, you can give the entirety of your payout to your charity, making the biggest impact you can.

We also provide FREE towing and FREE title transfers, which means more money for you to put into the pockets of your favorite charity.

Contact JunkCarMasters today and make a positive impact!

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

If the charity sells your car for 500$ or less, then you can deduct $500 or the fair market value of your car (whichever is less). If your car sells for more than $500, use the price it sold at as your deduction, even if your fair market value is higher than the sale price.

How Can I Donate My Car?

You can donate cars to any charity that accepts vehicles as donations. Some charities only accept commuter vehicles, while others will accept fleet and commercial vehicles.

It’s a Quick and Easy Process

Step 1: Vehicle Details

Vehicle Details

Provide us with your vehicle’s details and a picture if asked.

Step 2: Offer


Request your guaranteed offer from us online.

Step 3: Accept


Accept the offer if you’re happy with it.

Step 4: Get Paid

Get Paid

In 24-48 hrs, you will get paid and have your car towed for free!

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