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Car Donation
updated: Feb 19, 2014, 11:15 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Has anyone ever donated a car to an organization and were happy with the outcome? Any suggestions on how to go about this and what questions to ask?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 496087 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 12:10 PM

If you donate anything, why wouldn't you be happy with the outcome? What outcome are you looking for?


 COMMENT 496095P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 12:30 PM

We have used Cars 4 Causes a couple of times. They picked the cars up, donated the money to the charity of our choice - once to PBS and once to DRI - and sent us a receipt for the donation. It takes some time to get the receipt because they process and sell the cars to get the amount of the donation. We were very satisfied with them.


 COMMENT 496102 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 01:13 PM

I second Cars 4 causes...very easy!!!


 COMMENT 496103 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 01:21 PM

As someone who works in the well....other side of the business of getting rid of cars....be sure you have your pink slip and title in order. Choose a reputable charity routing agency such as Cars for Causes. The person you speak to should be highly familiar with the DMV process required to get the title out of your name. Donated cars pass through a multitude of hands before they are actually sold - you certainly are looking at this from a giving standpoint but you do not want to get stuck if a car you sold that is still in your name ends up impounded because the new owner failed to register the car, is unlicensed etc. Best of luck to you.


 COMMENT 496109 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 01:33 PM

Before you donate your car, ask how much of the donation actually goes to your charity.
For example, the Red Cross takes 9% off the top for administration & fundraising, which is better than most charities. charitywatch(dot)org is one watchdog agency that tracks these stats. Not all charities are listed there, so don't be afraid to ask before you make a donation.


 COMMENT 496112P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 01:36 PM

087- As with anything, there are good and not so good organizations. We donated my father's vehicle to one group (can't remember which) many years ago, only to find out the person who took the "donation" kept if for himself.... We saw him driving it around town for years. Kind of a drag when your intention was to help someone in need.


 COMMENT 496141 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 03:10 PM

112: Or perhaps, HE was the one in need? That's what I told myself after my bicycle was stolen a few years ago (my main form of transport, with lots of gear on it and panniers full of school work and dirty gym clothes.) It took two weeks or so before I came to that conclusion, but it was better than being angry and bitter about the theft. I learned my lesson and moved on. But you're right, it is Kind Of A Drag. (Now I have that song in my head.)


 COMMENT 496177 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 04:29 PM

I can take your vehicle the outcome will be me driving it around town :) It would be nice if we can help out a Family by donating a car for transportation!


 COMMENT 496209 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 06:00 PM

I do not have personal experience but the Ventura paper published the following:

Although the Ventura organization stated in a recent newsletter that 91 percent of proceeds goes to "charitable programs and services," a review of financial records by the Ventura County Star revealed that of the $8.91 million the organization received in the 2002-03 fiscal year, Cars 4 Causes gave other charities only $2.48 million.


 COMMENT 496266P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 11:07 PM

I just had a *great* experience with donating our old, undriveable truck to KUSC, the FM classical music channel. Our old '85 Chevy hadn't been driven for years & was in a difficult location. After I called them up the truck was gone and out of here in a few days. The whole thing was fast, easy, extremely pleasant. I couldn't believe how easy it was. If I known that, I'd called them years earlier! I'd certainly recommend others to do the same. Here's the URL: http://www.kusc.org/donatecar/


 COMMENT 496300 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 07:43 AM

I heard the Santa Barbara City Fire Department needs cars to practice rescues and auto extrication. If you car doesn't run, they will gladly use it.


 COMMENT 496303P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 07:48 AM

Domestic Violence Solutions of SB, the only shelter for abuse victims in SB County, is looking for a reliable car for their therapist
and advocates to use for commuting from our North County and South County facilities.

If anyone has a car to donate to a very reputable organization,
please check out our website at dvsolutions.org, or call the administrative offices at 963-4458.


 COMMENT 496312 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 08:05 AM

I don't itemize on my taxes so it doesn't pay for me to be too charitable.


 COMMENT 496321 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 08:21 AM

They usually require the car to be either driveable or easily repairable for resale. (there may be a market for a "classic car" even if it is not driveable) Even the reputable agencies will send you the donation information much later after it has been repaired or reconditioned, sold and they have deducted their "profit" for "administrtive expenses". I think if your dealing with a reputable agency you can expect roughly 25 to 30 % of it's value to be a tax deductable donation after all is said and done. (as more or less verified by the Ventura Star investigation referred to in post 496209.


 COMMENT 496344P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 09:02 AM

You can donate with confidence to The Music Academy of the West's car donation program (used to support our 100% scholarship summer program) - we use the same broker (Charitable Auto Resources) as KUSC, mentioned in comment 496266P. The process is fast, efficient and fully accountable. CARS has an A+ rating from the BBB, and is in good standing in the Attorney General's site for Charitable Trusts. Cars do not need to be drivable, but must be towable.

Please consider donating your car to support world class music education for the world's top young talent!

To find out more: http://www.musicacademy.org/donate-and-volunteer/Car-Donations/


 COMMENT 496483 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 12:55 PM

When my old Rambler finally died in the 90's, I donated it to a junkyard. They probably crushed it. Was I happy with the results? I guess so, I couldn't afford to have the brakes fixed.


 COMMENT 496543 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 03:09 PM

Donated my car to the Arthritis Foundation, they took care of everything so easily with just a phone call 800-905-4931, it didn't run and my car went to the vintage car auction, made me happy! I got a great tax deduction and waived good bye for the happy times with a smile.


 COMMENT 496560 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 03:54 PM

I recently donated an old VW bug to Kars4Kids. Easy, fast, and a free minivacation if I follow up.


 COMMENT 497489 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-24 05:23 PM

Several years ago, one of the t.v. shows like 60 Minutes or 20/20 - donated a car to a charity and tracked it. Basically, you donate the car to a charity (at one point the come-on was that you get a write-off ---- now, not so much) and someone, ie, used car lot owner, etc. buys the car for peanuts. The person buying the car from the charity makes ALL the money. Instead, why don't you sell ur own car - and donate to a charity of your choice. SCAM, SCAM, SCAM. Next, they'll ask you to donate your house.


 COMMENT 595984 agree helpful negative off topic

2015-03-10 12:39 PM

If you want to shop around first before you donate you should check out Vehicles for Change, they just have you fill out a form, schedule a pickup time, and meet with a tow truck. They also help with Tax Deductions too. Just go to vehiclesforchange.org to check em out.

Good luck!


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