how it works

It's free, easy and fast.
1You find a charity.Or call 1-800-237-5714.
2We pick up your vehicle.Free next day service.
3We help the charity sell the vehicle.You may be eligible for a tax deduction.
Donating a Car to Charity - Myths and Facts - Donate a Car

Having a vehicle that you end up no longer using is typical for many American car owners. It might be that the car no longer fits your needs, or that the family member who drove it no longer uses it. The vehicle might need repairing but you haven’t had time to deal with it. Maybe you are simply ready for an upgrade. What do you do with your unwanted car?


One option considered by many people is car donation. An unused vehicle opens the opportunity to do good for others by donating it to charity. Yet, there are several myths about car donation circulating over the internet. Below, we present the truth about car donation to charity.


Myth: Donating a Car is Complicated

Fact: The Car Donation Process is Simple

Car donation through Donate-a-Car is easy and fast.

     FIRST:  The first step is to choose a charity you would like to support through our Car Donation Charities list.

     SECOND:  Next, fill out the online donation form with basic information about you and your car. This can also be done over the phone by calling us at 1-800-237-5714. It only takes a few minutes.

     THIRD:  Then you will be contacted to have your car picked up by a professional towing company at no cost to you.

Soon after you will receive a receipt for tax purposes in the mail. It’s that easy!


Myth: You Need Many Documents When Donating a Car

Fact: Documentation Needed is Minimal

Minimal documents are needed for car donation to charity. However, different states have various documentation requirements. In most cases, all you need to have is the title of the car.

If you don’t have your car’s title, get a hold of your local DMV. You will need the car’s VIN and title number which can be found on the registration card. You can also contact Donate-a-Car at 1-800-237-5714 and our experts can help you with obtaining your car’s title.

If the car was financed when it was purchased, it might need a lien release on the title. If this is needed, contact the bank or financial institution to ensure the vehicle has been paid off completely.


Myth: Most Vehicles Cannot Be Donated

Fact: Most Vehicles are Accepted for Car Donation

We accept nearly all kinds of vehicles for car donation. Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, motorcycles, RVs, ATVs and even some farm equipment can be donated to help charity. If you have a unique vehicle, give us a call, we will most likely accept it.

Even if your vehicle is no longer running, you can still donate it. Donated vehicles can be picked up from all over the United States.


Myth: There is No Financial Benefit to Car Donation

Fact: Car Donation Has Several Financial Benefits

Tax regulations concerning car donations have changed. Because of these changes, there is an array of misinformation implying that it is not a good financial choice to donate a car to charity. Let’s examine the facts.

  • In order for a car donation to qualify for a tax benefit for the donor, the car must be donated to a tax-exempt charity that falls under IRS section 501(c)(3) that can receive tax-deductible donations.
  • When selecting a charity, you would want to research to learn if that non-profit charity is eligible for this.
  • At Donate-a-Car, we have done the work to ensure all the charities we partner with are eligible for the 501(c)(3) status. This gives donors the benefit of their car donation being tax deductible.
  • Before the new laws came into effect, the tax benefits of car donation were based on inflated book values, which become less reliable as the car ages. The newer law allows for the amount deducted to be related directly to what the car sells for.
  • If a vehicle sells for less than $500, then the fair market value of the car can be claimed up to $500. If a vehicle sells for over $500, then the exact dollar amount it was sold for can be claimed. You can learn more about this at our tax deduction guide.

Car donation can give you a nice tax benefit, which can be like money in your pocket.

Other financial benefits of donating your car involve the removing of many car expense. These include repairs, maintenance, new parts, registration, expense and time of selling, insurance, and towing.


Myth: Car Donation Doesn’t Really Help Anyone

Fact: Car Donation Makes a Big Difference

Donating an unwanted car to charity can benefit that charity and your community. Most charities rely on donations to do their important work. Communities are comprised of families, and charities assist communities and families in need. By donating a car, you make a tangible change in the lives of those in need.  


For over 25 years, Donate-a-Car has worked to bring car donors and charities together to make a difference in communities. We provide industry leading car donation services for donors and our charity partners. You can donate a car with confidence knowing that we are trusted by thousands of respected charities. Give us a call today and help make a difference.