How to Donate a Car That Doesn't Run: A Step-by-Step Guide

Many charities rely on car donations to help them in their mission. However, many people don’t know how to donate a car that doesn’t run.

Here, we'll learn the steps you need to take in order to make sure your donated vehicle is usable and beneficial for the charity of your choice. You'll also learn about how it's possible to keep your tax deduction when donating an old, non-running car even if it's not worth very much money.

How to Donate a Car That Doesn't Run: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Section 1: Prepare a list of what you'll need
  • Section 2: Move the car to a safe place
  • Section 3: Do the paperwork
  • Section 4: Receive the money

The Downside of Cars-As-Gifts


While some charities welcome donations of old cars, not all do. Some that don't accept all cars, and there's no way to be sure about which organizations are legitimate. And like many charity groups, a charity car drive may be run more for fundraising than actual assistance.


Here's a list of charities that deal with donated cars (those that accept any car, not just classic ones), with what questions to ask and a detailed description of what they do. The charity you choose should give you an idea of how it works—and if you'd like to ask the organization for more information, there's a 24/7 number you can call.


The Paperwork


First things first: You have to get a title transfer approved by the DMV. Your state's office of motor vehicles can set up a transfer online, in person, or by mail, but you need to follow the DMV's guidelines. You should give the DMV the following:


Documentation proving ownership and registration of the vehicle


Some of the following:

  • The vehicle's registration (A) or title if the vehicle is a semi-truck
  • The name and address of the title buyer
  • The following addresses: the original title buyer, the new title buyer, the place where the vehicle is parked, and the time the title was purchased
  • Some exceptions apply, but they're often worth the effort, like if the vehicle was bought on eBay.
  • The DMV may take a day or two to process, so keep this document handy.

Contact the Car Donation Organization

  • Choosing the Best Vehicle Donor Agency
  • Loading the Car up for Delivery
  • Sending it to the Towing Company
  • Timing of Your Driveaway
  • Collection of the Car
  • Presenting the Car to the Donor
  • Donors of Cars
  • The Care and Maintenance of Your New Vehicle

At the time of writing, there are about two million used cars for sale at least every 30 days on the market in the United States. This abundance of vehicles leads to thousands of car theft events each year.


Car buyers, like many car thieves, may assume they are "safe" if they buy a used car. But, the problem of stolen vehicles is far more severe than many people understand. Thefts of automobiles constitute a growing business for many stolen vehicle recovery companies.


The Car Removal Process


Get All of Your Vehicle's Records: The biggest issue you'll have when you're trying to decide whether or not you can sell your car is the vehicle's history. Before you get started, there are a few things you need to take care of.


For starters, check your local DMV's website to see if you have all of the required documents. They have the vehicle's title, owner's manual, and registration info, and it's the DMV that verifies whether the vehicle is road-worthy. Check the cars' VIN numbers and chassis numbers, as well.


So that you don't lose the paperwork, do not throw it out once you have them. You'll also want to have a look at the car's history. There are several online resources that can help you gather this information. I particularly like CarFax.com and Vehicle History Reports.


Conclusion


We hope that if you are a good person, you will be generous and take part in this worthy cause. Take a moment to reflect on what the next decade holds. It is important to keep your options open and think about the future. Decide now which are the most important causes in your life, and we promise, as you donate, that your car won't be idle for the next decade.


We encourage you to be a generous and caring person and do something good for the world. Maybe your own life, a child's life, or a stranger's life. Take that step today.

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