How To Donate A Car To Charity When You Don't Know What To Do

Donating your car to charity looks like it's easy to do. Yes, if that's what you really expect. But the reality is not so. Especially if this is the first time you will do it and you really don't know anything. Most people think that this is the best way they can do it rather than cause other problems by selling it. They also want to get a tax deduction value at the same moment. So, before you make an important decision to give your valuable assets to anyone, you must already know some of the right things to do.

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Easy But Important Steps That You Can Do To Donate the Car to Charity Properly


Well, now we will give you steps that can help you to donate your vehicle to a trusted charity.

1. Get Information On The Charity That You Will Choose

At least you know if there are many charities out there who are ready to receive your car donations. But do you know if they are really what you expected? So you need objective data to determine the rank of a charity. Take it easy, you can do it easily online. You can visit trusted sites such as Charity Navigator or the BB Bureau. This is not a difficult job if your intention is to make the assets that you donate really can be useful for people in need.

There are thousands of great charity organizations. Our other advice is that you can find out from your friends or neighbors. Especially if you are not close to one of these organizations. Thus you can choose which one is the most comfortable and suitable for your needs.

Don't forget if you want to get a tax deduction, then you have to make sure that the charity that you are going to has fulfilled all the requirements for contributing to tax deductions. If there are questions you can ask decree IRS as tax-attempt verification. You must choose an organization with an IRS-approved status of 501 (c) (3) to meet the tax deduction requirements.

Each charity watchdog has its own method for assessing the performance of the charity. But even so, there is not much difference from the qualifications they provide. For example, CharityWatch provides clear terms, if the organization wants to get a satisfying predicate, they must be able to show if 60% of the expenditure goes to the charity program.

Whereas to get the top rank, at least 75% of the expenditure must be aimed at charity work and a maximum of 25% of the remaining funds can be used for fundraising costs. So, if you get an offer that is too promising or seems unreasonable, then you should look for more information.

2. Find Out What The Charity Will Do to The Car You Donate

Find out the missions of the charity. We recommend that you not choose them if the administrative cost to fund their program exceeds 25% of your car value. Check the percentage of car donation value after the sale. Never donate your car to a charity that is not transparent about the results of selling your car. Choose who gives a minimum of 75% of the proceeds for the people who need and benefit humanity.

What should you do if you really have to use an intermediary? Well, in this situation you can calculate whether your donation can qualify for tax deductions or not. For example, if the organization only gives one hundred dollars for used vehicles or two thousand dollars per month, and they don't care about the value, then this may not fulfill the requirements for tax deductions.

3. Make Sure the Car You Donate is Received Directly by The Charity


There are so many organizations that look like charities in the name of humanity but they also take big profits. They are not a non-profit organization as you expect. They only give 5-10% of the proceeds from the sale of vehicles to charity. Therefore you should ensure that the car you donate is directly received by the charity you choose. You should also be able to see their financial statements or request them directly. Thus you can find out the percentage comparison for administration and charity.
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It is very sad to imagine how inhuman people take the rights of people who are in misfortune. Therefore, avoid third parties who only use the benefits of selling your car for themselves. They are a scam charity that should be dealt with legally.

Non-profit middlemen advertise massively in various media such as billboards or TV, they invite you to donate cars and they will make it easy by helping you. Maybe you often or have seen what they offer several times. Never deal with them, because they will usually use at least half of sales revenue for their own interests. Only a small amount they really give to humanitarian charity.

4. Bring Your Own Car to Charity Without Delivery Services and Transfer Carefully

If possible you can drive your own car to a charity. Why should it be like that? Because then you will donate more funds to help many people. However, you can also find charitable organizations that can cover towing vehicles for a small fee. Thus you can still consider it wisely. You can understand how to implement it before the schedule and do the delivery yourself.

You have to know when you decide to choose a proper charity then they can pay for the service to pick up the car.  The charity can give you 1-800 contact number or website where you can get the title of ownership for your car. After that, you can use the number or site to provide information about the car you are donating. They can ask for some information such as who is in the tax receipt, model and type of vehicle, or VIN number.

You will also be asked to provide information about your telephone number, contact address, and car condition. Less than a week or about 4 days, the fastest is 2 days, they will pick up the vehicle and they will also ask you to sign over the title directly to the charity.

It should be noted that you never submit a change of ownership name to a blank document for donations of any charity.  The reason is that you can be the person responsible for the accident after the donation or the ticket. So don't leave lines of ownership assignment letters empty. You must remove the license plate numbers and return them formally by yourselves to DMV before going to donate it.

When you drive a car, make sure you do it carefully. Don't let you involve the traffic violation or you get a ticket. Because you have to re-title your vehicle to the charity officially and report the delivery of the car to the licensing or Department of Motor Vehicles.

5. Stop Your Car Insurance Coverage

Why do you have to stop insurance coverage for the car you donated? The answer is simple. Because you don't have any more risk with the car. Actually donating a car doesn't have much difference from selling a car to a dealer or to someone else. In other words, the old owner no longer has an insurable interest in the vehicle. Or you do not have the risk associated with the car or the incident or damage caused. You can also get a refund from the insurance company because you have not used it.

6. Get Receipts From Charity And Keep It Well


Receipt as proof of the car delivery. Non-cash donations can be the biggest target for IRS audits based on the Charity Watch. Save your documents neatly and sequentially. The receipt will reveal how much money is generated. If your car is worth more than five hundred dollars, the IRS will see it as evidence. You must also attach the IRS 8283 form for tax returns. Whereas if the value turns out to be more than five thousand dollars then the documentation must include an assessment from an external party.

7. Give details and Check You Car Market Value

Don't ignore things that can complicate your tax deductions. Maybe you didn't realize it, but maybe this is the biggest charity donation you've ever made so far. So, even the smallest detail might make a difference in returning your tax value. You should also know the market price of your car at that time. You can see it on trusted sites like TrueCar or Kelley Blue Book. You will get a fair price and match your car.

8. As an Option, You Can Ask For Privacy

Privacy requests are your right. Maybe you don't like your name on the list of millions of donors where other people can clearly see your name there. You can get peace when your information as a donor is not listed.


Okay, that's a few steps you can do to donate your car to charity. Actually, there is nothing difficult if you want to do good for others. What you give them will be very meaningful. Don't look at the value of your car but look at your sincerity.