How Do I Get an Accurate Estimate When I Donate a Car?

A car is a big ticket item. When you donate a car, you want the proper tax benefits. To do this successfully, you need to donate the car to a charity recognized by the IRS as tax exempt. There are a number of factors that play into determining the worth of your car, and therefore your tax deductions. Your tax deduction is determined by how the tax- exempt charity uses your donation. The following are a few tips on understanding the value of your car and factors that might affect your car’s worth.

  • Use a reputable online source. A website like Kelley Blue Book can provide a free estimation of any car’s value given its age, mileage, and condition.
  • Go to a dealer. A used car dealer is an expert in pricing used and old cars and can give you an accurate value. Be sure to visit a few different dealers to guarantee you have a variety of opinions before you donate a car.
  • Consider your car’s age. When trying to determine the value of your car, take into account the car’s age. While this may not reflect the condition of the car, it will make a difference to the value, as older cars are  more prone to breaking down and wearing out, even if they are taken care of.
  • Consider the brand. The specific model and year of your car can have a huge effect on its value. Some brands are known exclusively for high value cars, and some models are considered a cut above the rest. If you car is a BMW or a Mercedes Benz, for example, you can expect higher value than cars of other makes.

Once you donate a car, get all documentation from your charity to keep records of the donation, the value, and how the car was used to help families in need. You can find out more about car donations by contacting Vehicles for Change.