Vehicles for Change Offers Fair MARKET VALUE for Donations, Helping YOU and Your Community
Vehicle donation is growing in popularity as a way of getting rid of an unwanted or no longer serviceable vehicle. Car donation is considered by many to be primarily an act of charity, offering few benefits to the donor. While this may be true for car donation to many charities, donors stand to deduct fair market value for donations of vehicles if they choose their charity wisely.
Vehicles for Change offers significant tax benefits to vehicle donors.
Vehicles for Change: Tax Advantages
Vehicles for Change is a charitable organization located in Maryland. The organization primarily accepts donations from the Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Detroit areas, but donors from all over the country choose Vehicles for Change to receive their donated cars. There are multiple reasons Vehicles for Change is a good choice for vehicle donation.
Vehicles for Change is dedicated to awarding cars to families in need. This marks a big difference between the organization and many other charities. Most charities accept donated cars, but they sell the vehicles for profit to the charity. Vehicles for Change takes advantage of the practical value of the car itself, presenting it to a family in need and changing their lives forever.
Because the organization uses cars in this way, tax benefits to donors are quite different than with other charities that accept car donations. Donors stand to deduct fair market value for donationsof cars, SUVs, trucks, and other kinds of vehicles. This makes donating a vehicle to Vehicles for Change a sound financial decision as well as of great benefit to the community at large.
Fair Market Value for Donations
Different donated vehicles stand to receive different tax benefits. When calculating the likely tax deduction, the primary considerations are the type of vehicle and its condition. Vehicles for Change accepts a wide variety of vehicles in almost any condition, and no matter the vehicle’s condition, donating it to Vehicles for Change is guaranteed to reap the greatest tax benefits available for that vehicle.
The organization's main goal is giving as many families as possible reliable access to personal vehicles. Achieving this goal is how the treatment of each donation is decided upon.
Vehicles for Change accepts donated cars that no longer run or aren't economically feasible to fix up. For these vehicles, technicians still perform some repairs. The cars are then auctioned to one of Vehicles for Change's partners, typically starting at a fair minimum bid the organization decides upon. Donors of these kinds of vehicles stand to receive the value of the auction price of the vehicle in tax deductions.
Some donors donate luxury vehicles. These cars are usually not suitable for low-income families, as they often require expensive maintenance and special accommodations to keep running. Upon receiving luxury cars, Vehicles for Change sells them to Freedom Wheels – a non-profit subsidiary of Vehicles for Change. Donors may deduct the selling price of the vehicles, which is usually fair market value for donations.
Many donated cars are basically in good condition, but require a major repair to work again. For example, these cars might need a new transmission. These vehicles are repaired and then sold to Freedom Wheels. Donors can deduct the fair market value for donations of this type, minus the estimated cost of the repairs. Vehicles for Change provides this estimate.
The proceeds from all of these cars which are auctioned or sold go toward Vehicles for Change's main goal of fixing up cars to give to lower-income families.
Many donated vehicles are in great condition, requiring less than $1,000 worth of repairs to fix. After these repairs, the vehicles can provide at least 2 years of reliable service. Donors may deduct the fairmarket value for donationsof these vehicles.
Donating to Vehicles for Change leads to great tax benefits, regardless of the kind or condition of the vehicles.
The Process for Vehicle Donation
Donating a vehicle is quite simple. In most cases, only the vehicle's title is required as far as official documentation. To receive fair market value for donations, first fill out the donation form found on Vehicles for Change's site. The form is easy, usually taking only 10 minutes to complete. The donor must input their personal information, including name, address, email address, and social security number. This information is shared with no one, and any sensitive materials are destroyed after use.
The form then asks for basic information about the vehicle – make, model, year, and VIN. It also requires the vehicle's location, if it's not the same as the donor's street address. Submitting the donation form can be done according to the donor's preference – online, by fax, by email, or through snail mail.
After confirming receipt of the donation form through email, Vehicles for Change will contact the donor by phone to set up a pick-up time. The donor must be present for this pickup time to hand over the keys and title, as well as any other necessary documents, like the lien release. A donation receipt is given to the donor by the tow truck driver.
Then, the donor receives the tax receipt in the mail. The donation process happens quickly and efficiently, leaving the donor to reap the tax benefits.
The Documents Needed to Donate a Vehicle
The title requires some preparation before a vehicle donation. Fortunately, this process is simple. To prepare the title, obtain a copy from the local DMV. In many areas, this request can be made online. The title has two lines to be filled out: “buyer” and “seller.” Under “buyer,” write “Vehicles for Change.” Under “seller,” the donor must write his or her own name exactly how it appears on the title. If there are two individuals on the title, both must print and sign.
If a financing institution participated in the purchase of the vehicle, and that institution's name is on the title, a lien release is often required. The donor must contact the lending institution and obtain a paper letter on the institution's official letterhead. An electronic copy won't do. In this letter, the institution must identify the vehicle by make, model, year, and VIN, and state the donor has fully paid it off.
The Impact of Donated Vehicles
Tax deductions aren't the only reason to donate a car to Vehicles for Change. The impact of these donated vehicles on needy families is great. Before owning a car, it can be difficult for many parents to take their children to the doctor, go grocery shopping, participate in community activities, and even get to work. With many lower-income families relying on an hourly wage rather than a salary, these limitations have a serious effect. Many people without cars are overqualified for the jobs they have. However, they have no way of accessing better opportunities because their mobility is limited.
Reliance on public transportation causes these families to struggle. In many places in the country, no public transit is available, leaving families completely stuck.
Numbers and Stats
Skeptical potential car donors are quickly convinced by the numbers Vehicles for Change has recorded over the years.
Since 1999, Vehicles for Change has sold 5,000 vehicles to families in need at prices they can afford. This led to basic quality of life improvements for over 20,000 adults and children. On average, daily commutes were cut by 90 minutes. This free time presented a variety of opportunities. A full 100% of recipients reported they took their children to after school activities, 87% related to art, music, or athletics. 55% of new car owners volunteered in their communities. 75% were able to attend religious services.
Within the first year of owning a car, 75% reported fewer absences from work. This paired with new opportunities meant 75% also increased their earnings at their jobs or moved on to higher paying jobs within that first year, for an average yearly increase of $7,000 across the board.
98% reported it was easier to take their children to see a doctor, and 93% self-reported reduced stress levels. All of this came from owning a car.
Who Receives the Vehicles?
Families are referred to Vehicles for Change by social service organizations. There are many lower-income families who could benefit from a car, which is why Vehicles for Change is always looking for more donations. This is also why the organization offers fair market value for car donationsin tax deductions to incentivize those contributions. These vehicles are sold to families for an affordable price, often as low as $950, to make them accessible.
Vehicle Eligibility for Donation
Vehicles for Change accepts a variety of different kinds of vehicles at different conditions and levels of disrepair. If a car isn't a practical contribution to a lower-income family, the proceeds from selling or auctioning the car (to only reputable buyers) are used to fix up other vehicles. Almost all cars, trucks, and SUVs in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland are eligible to be donated. Motorcycles, RVs, and boats (if attached to trailers) are considered case-by-case. Vehicles are also towed from other parts of the country, depending on the kind and condition.
Benefits to the Community
A community is made up of families. When families suffer, the entire community is responsible.
Cars are expensive items that are often difficult for lower-income families to afford. However, many middle class or wealthier families have extra vehicles they no longer use.
A vehicle sitting unused in a garage benefits no one. A donated vehicle offers astonishing benefits to families in need. Many families are stuck in poverty simply because they can't access opportunities – opportunities they are often already qualified for. Most lower-income parents are underemployed and underpaid. This renders them unable to provide for themselves and their children the way they could if they had the independence that comes with a vehicle.
A car means higher paying jobs, better health, reduced stress, and a greater state of well-being. If one family is brought out of poverty by a donated vehicle, the whole community benefits.
Benefits to the Donor
Donors stand to receive fair market value for donations in tax deductions when they donate to Vehicles for Change. When the donated item is as valuable as a car, this is a significant financial benefit. Donors also become a more integrated part of their communities when they donate. The ability to change multiple lives with a single donation is a great opportunity.
Donate to Vehicles for Change
People who have vehicles they no longer need should seriously consider donating to Vehicles for Change. The fair market value for donations Vehicles for Change offers is unmatched by any charity in the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., area. It's rare to know for certain a donation will lead to a tangible improvement in somebody's life. A donation to Vehicles for Change is an investment in a better community and a better world.