Donating your car to charity might sound crazy, if it weren’t for the benefits you reap. Yes, you read that right: Donating you car can benefit you, as well as charity.
Maybe you’re ready to upgrade to a new car, but the dealer is offering you a trade-in figure eighty percent lower than your old car’s Kelly Blue Book value. Is the trade-in really worth your while?
Then again, you might have inherited a car from a loved one, or have a second vehicle you almost never use—a set of wheels that’s just taking up space in your garage. Think about what that extra vehicle is costing you, no matter how often you drive it, you still have to pay for:
• insurance coverage
• vehicle taxes
Whatever the reason you find yourself ready to get rid of a car or truck, consider the pluses involved with donating that vehicle to charity.
Donating is Easier and Safer than Selling the Car Yourself
Selling a car yourself can be time consuming and risky. Time consuming because you have to list the car, answer inquiries, and show it to prospective buyers. Oh, and you never know who’ll show up for a test drive. If and when you do sell, there’s a ton of paperwork and some legal liability involved.
When you donate that car to charity, you avoid the hassle and don’t have to deal with shady characters. A professional tow service will pick up the car, and the charity will take care of the paperwork.
Charities Will Even Take Non-running Cars
Getting rid of a junker can be impossible, especially if it doesn’t run. Luckily, charities will take that rust heap off your hands and tow it away. Some websites offer a list of charities that prefer operational vehicles and some will take anything.
You Can Deduct the Donation from Your Taxes
We can all use a tax break, and donating your car to charity is a great way to get one. There are a few things you need to know before you claim your deduction. For example:
• Choose a legitimate 501c3 nonprofit eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.
• The amount of the deduction depends on either what the charity sold the car for, or the car’s fair market value based on the Kelly Blue Book. Whichever pricing you use, be sure to have documentation to back it up.
• Claim the deduction in the same year you donated the car.
You Make Your Community a Better Place for Yourself and Everybody Else
Some charities sell donated cars and use the proceeds to fund programs designed to help the less fortunate get jobs, education, food, and housing. Other charities use the donated vehicles in day-to-day operations. Some pass donated cars along to low-income families in need of transportation at tremendously reduced costs, often resulting in an improved lifestyle and reduced unemployment. One way or another, donating your car equals a healthier community, and that benefits everyone.