How Can I Donate a Car that Doesn’t Run?

If you’re looking for a way to help families in need secure access to a better and brighter future while simultaneously maximizing your tax deduction, you may consider donating your car to a nonprofit like Vehicles for Change which has a car donation program. But what if your car doesn’t run? Is there still a way to donate it? The short answer is yes! In this article, we will explore how you can donate a car that doesn’t run in a way that still ends up helping someone in need, as well as the benefits of choosing Vehicles for Change for your car donation.

Some nonprofit organizations will accept your car donation even if the car isn’t currently running. They will typically either recycle the vehicle or auction it off for parts, in which case the proceeds still go to helping the nonprofit organization run smoothly. Vehicles for Change is an organization that utilizes the proceeds they receive to fix the cars that are able to be given to a family in need of transportation.

Usually, the donation process starts with completing a donation form online with details about your vehicle. Once the nonprofit organization of your choice looks over your form, they will contact you to let you know if they will accept your donation. If your car is accepted, a tow truck will be sent to your location, typically free of cost. Then once the charity determines the best way to use your donated vehicle, you will receive a tax-deductible receipt that you can use on your 1098-c form when you file your taxes.


The Process of Donating Your Non-Running Vehicle to Vehicles for Change

Vehicles for Change makes the donation process simple.

  1. Fill out a donation form online.
  2. Schedule your pickup and prepare your vehicle.
  3. Meet the tow truck on pickup day.

If your car is within the acceptable year and mileage but may need some major repairs, like a new transmission, Vehicles for Change will have one of our certified master mechanics make repairs on the vehicle to maximize its value.  Once fixed we will either award the car to a family or sell the repaired vehicle through Freedom Wheels, our used car retail business. The proceeds always go toward preparing other cars for worthy families. In this case, the tax-deductible ends up being the vehicle’s fair market value, minus the cost of repairs.

If the donated vehicle doesn’t run and doesn’t meet reliability standards, we will spruce up the vehicle and send it to one of our auction partners where the selling price will be maximized. We assign a minimum bid value to assure it isn’t sold for less than a fair price. The proceeds from the auction help us prepare more cars for families in need. In this case, the tax-deductible ends up being the selling price, up to the vehicle’s fair market value.

To learn more about the estimated value of your donated car, consult Kelley Blue Book or the IRS’s Determining the Value of Donated Property.


Why Choose Vehicles for Change?

Transportation is the number one barrier to employment for low-income families and those living in poverty. When possible, we donate vehicles to families in need to help them gain access to better-paying jobs. We have seen how car donations drastically improve the lives of those who receive them. For example:

  • 75% of vehicle recipients reported missing fewer workdays.
  • 75% of vehicle recipients obtained a new, better job with an annual salary increase of $7,000.
  • On average, recipients shortened their commute by 90 minutes, allowing them to be present to their families.
  • 93% of recipients reported feeling less stressed after gaining access to a vehicle.
  • 98% of recipients were able to take their children to the doctor.
  • 100% of recipients were able to take their children to after-school, recreational, cultural, and athletic activities.

In addition, Vehicles for Change has an auto and repair training program for individuals with multiple barriers to employment, many of whom were formerly imprisoned. In 2018 it was reported that out of over 400,000 individuals released from prison in 30 states, more than 83% were re-arrested an average of six times during the study period. Our interns in our training program receive Automotive Service Excellence classroom training as well as hands-on training under the supervision of certified master mechanics. At the completion of our training program, 100% of interns are hired to work in the automotive industry. At Vehicles for Change, we make it our mission to help individuals struggling in any way we can, whether that is giving them job skills to gain employment or receiving a car donation to help them access a better life. We hope you consider us when donating your vehicle.


Contact Us Today

Get in touch with one of our team members today about your car donation. You can reach us by calling 855-820-7990 or sending us a message online here. At Vehicles for Change, we prioritize repairing and refurbishing donated vehicles to the best of our ability in order to maximize your tax deduction. We appreciate working with donors like you who are passionate about giving back to the community.