Vehicle Donation - Help yourself and Others

by : C.L. Hendricks

Vehicle donation: What is it and why would anyone considering donating a car or truck?? Well, all of us have been there, at one time or another. An old car just isn't doing it for us any more. It might be broken down, or have body damage, or we've just decided to get a newer car and the dealer didn't want it in trade. Also, with rising gas prices, more and more people are switching to public transportation. Regardless of the reason, you could find yourself with a big, useless hulk sitting in your driveway.

If you find yourself in this situation, vehicle donation could be a great solution for you. In doing this, you would donate a vehicle to a charity or other non-profit. They will either: fix it and sell it, fix it and use it themselves, or sell it for parts or scrap metal.

Vehicle donation offers a lot of benefits. First of all, you get the unsightly car that you are no longer using out of your hair. Many charities that accept donated vehicles will even come and pick up your car for you! You also can get a deduction on your income tax for the fair market value of the car, if you itemize. Perhaps most importantly, however, you will be converting something that you no longer want or need into a way to help the less fortunate.

Of course, nothing is without its drawbacks, and there are some negatives to consider if you decide to donate a vehicle. First of all, you will have to do some investigation to find a charity in your area that accepts donated cars. Not every charity is able to handle these sorts of donations, so you might find yourself calling several different places before you find someone willing to take your vehicle.

Most charities that accept used vehicles will re-sell them after repairs, so you should focus upon organizations that operate thrift stores or even, in some cases, car lots. There are also non-profits that work with young people, and donated vehicles are used to help the kids learn auto repair and body work.

There are some other factors to take into consideration, as well. You must be careful to make sure that the title is correctly passed to the charity, or you could be liable if the car is later involved in an accident, or if the new owner gets parking tickets or other violations. The exact procedures for doing this vary by state.

Lastly, if you want a tax deduction for your donation, there is a great deal of paperwork that you or your tax professional will need to complete. While it can involve some work and aggravation, if you choose to donate a vehicle, you can enjoy many benefits and transform an eyesore into a helping hand for the less fortunate.