About Vehicles for Change

Our Mission


Vehicles for Change Inc. (VFC) empowers families with financial challenges to achieve economic and personal independence through car ownership and technical training.

In 1999, Vehicles for Change opened outside of Baltimore, Maryland. After building sustainable car award and automotive training programs in the Maryland-Virginia-Washington D.C. region, VFC began work to replicate those programs nationally, aiming to bring independent transportation and training in the automotive field to as many people as possible. VFC took its first step towards national expansion by opening up its second location in Detroit, Michigan in 2015.

Our Car Award Program

A nonprofit organization, VFC receives 99 percent of its car donations from the public. We repair cars that meet our quality standards and award them for as little as $850 to eligible families, who are referred to us by social service agencies.

Since 1999, VFC has awarded 6,200 cars to low-income families, changing the lives of more than 22,000 people. Our 2011 study found that 75 percent of VFC recipients got better jobs and/or boosted their earnings an average of $7,000 within the first year.  Learn more.

This video, put together by the Calvert Foundation, features the VFC Program:


We guarantee families’ low-interest car loans—allowing them to build credit—and provide an orientation course to prepare them for car ownership. Their VFC vehicles carry a six-month/6,000 mile warranty, and with proper maintenance will deliver reliable service for at least 24,000 miles or two years.

VFC car donors gain a substantial tax advantage that’s not available with most other charities. Learn more about the VFC Tax Advantage.

Our Auto Outlet, Freedom Wheels

DSC01473.JPGVFC operates Freedom Wheels, a retail used-car lot that is open to the public so that car prices are kept low for recipients. Some donated vehicles (such as luxury models or cars with a high book value) are repaired and overseen by our Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) master mechanics and Maryland state certified inspectors, and sold through Freedom Wheels, in order to maximize the donor's tax deduction and VFC's financial return. All proceeds go toward preparing more vehicles for deserving families.

Freedom Wheels, launched in 2005, enables VFC to act as a social enterprise, funding its own operations and growth.