Why do People Donate Cars?

Though a person will often make more money by selling their cars, some people choose to donate instead, opting for the tax breaks and the satisfaction of giving to less fortunate individuals. There are a number of reasons people choose to donate their cars, including:

  • Tax breaks. Financial incentives remain an important reason why people give to charity instead of throwing their old possessions away. The knowledge that a tax break will be coming is enough to convince many people to donate clothes, toys, books, bicycles, and even their cars.

Tax deductions for car donations are determined in part by the value of the car, and in part by how the car was used by the car donation charity that received it.

  • Avoiding hassle. Selling a used car is difficult. Generally the seller needs to have the car fully serviced, handle all problems with scratches and dents and rust, and occasionally have the car touched up or even completely repainted. There is a lot of expense into making a car look good enough to sell, even before settling on an asking price or deciding whether to sell to a dealer or by owner.

People donate cars to avoid this hassle; they simply call the charity of their choice and drop off the car. Some nonprofits, such as Vehicles for Change, will pick up and tow the vehicle for free. A few papers are signed to transfer ownership, a receipt of the donation is procured for tax purposes, and the deal is done.

  • Getting rid of a car as is. For some people, the expense of fixing their car only to sell it is too much, so they donate the car as is. This may reduce their tax break, but the car donation company often accepts cars with mild damage.
  • Saving time. In addition to being expensive and stressful, selling a used car takes a lot of time. Some people sit on their used cars for months before agreeing to sell them to the highest bidder, and even then they don’t get the asking price they wanted. People donate cars to save time, getting rid of the car as soon as possible and moving on to other tasks that need to be completed.
  • Helping others. When people donate cars to charities that award cars to low-income families, they provide means of independent transportation to families and individuals in need. A car donation can allow a family to escape poverty by providing them with mobility and access to a variety of job opportunities that were previously not feasible because of transportation restrictions. Car donations also allow charities to grow, as every donation helps to raise the charity’s visibility. This means each donation helps not only the recipient of the car, but other families who are supported by the charity.

To find out how to donate cars or to learn more about the benefits of car donations, research car donation charities online and visit Vehicles for Change.