Car Donation

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SimplicityNow
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Car Donation

Post by SimplicityNow » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:11 pm

An old car of ours had the transmission go and we have decided to donate it.

I know there are many "charitable" organizations that accept car donations. Usually they subtract their costs then donate a portion of the balance to a specific charity. I know many of them are scams and that they pocket most of the money.

Anyone have any knowledge of which ones are the good ones?

Thanks.

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dm200
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Location: Washington DC area

Re: Car Donation

Post by dm200 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:18 pm

SimplicityNow wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:11 pm
An old car of ours had the transmission go and we have decided to donate it.
I know there are many "charitable" organizations that accept car donations. Usually they subtract their costs then donate a portion of the balance to a specific charity. I know many of them are scams and that they pocket most of the money.
Anyone have any knowledge of which ones are the good ones?
Thanks.
Check with vocational programs in area school systems. Sometimes they will accept such cars as donations.

I did this a few years ago.

livesoft
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Re: Car Donation

Post by livesoft » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:24 pm

I don't get it. You are picking a charity, not a car donation service. Ask the charities that you would donate cash or stocks or time to whether they accept a car. If they do, then they would tell you who to call.

And in 2018 the standard deduction is larger than in the past, so I suspect fewer people will be deducting car donations from their tax returns.
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Liam Friend
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Re: Car Donation

Post by Liam Friend » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:44 pm

In my area, the local Goodwill will come tow the car away and does all of the paperwork. Painless. They then hold occasional auto auctions to convert the cars to cash to support their mission.

Mike Scott
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Re: Car Donation

Post by Mike Scott » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:55 pm

Ask your charity how to handle the donation. They usually make it pretty painless if they want it. Or call a salvage yard and see if they will buy it for $100 and get it out of your driveway. It's going to go to a salvage pool auction one way or another.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Car Donation

Post by ClevrChico » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:47 pm

You'd probably be better off selling the car to a salvage yard and then donating cash. Our charity only gets $25/car from one of the donation services.

Mom 2 Groms
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Re: Car Donation

Post by Mom 2 Groms » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:32 am

We donated our used minivan to our church. We asked them if they knew of a good charity to donate to because previously we had a visitor come in who ran a group home. They were asking for financial donations, and also if anyone had a van they would donate. We weren't ready at that time to get rid of the van, but we kept that request in the back of our minds.

Fast forward to when we were ready to donate the van. We asked the church, thinking it would go to a group home or a women's shelter. They actually said they wanted it, and ended up giving it to a single low income mother whose car had just broken down. In our case, I think the car itself made a bigger impact than the salvage value of the car.

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dm200
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Location: Washington DC area

Re: Car Donation

Post by dm200 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:57 pm

While this car seems to have a major problem, it seems to me that many talented and industrious low income folks are able to accomplish such repairs in a reasonably cost effective way. Maybe there is an organization/charity in the area that has connections to such folks.

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htdrag11
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Re: Car Donation

Post by htdrag11 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:05 pm

Went with charitymortors.org about 2 years ago. The car was book valued at around $2,500 to $3,000. Did not get anything from it, not even a donation form. I'm sure it was a great deal to the needy in a particular urban area but I would not want to deal with them again.

bloom2708
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Re: Car Donation

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:19 pm

Get a quote from carbrain.com

To see what their offer is. Describe the car correctly.
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FunnelCakeBob
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Re: Car Donation

Post by FunnelCakeBob » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:17 pm

How about your local PBS station? Support Sesame Street. :idea:

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sigmadave_2000
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Re: Car Donation

Post by sigmadave_2000 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:43 pm

Salvation Army

I looked into it, and a lot of 501(c) corporations will take your car. I called a couple and it looks like the calls go to a company just picks up your car and sells it for fast cash at the wholesale used car auction. I guess they split the money with the charity. There have been reports about the companies that advertise on TV and the Radio (I won't name it but you can't get their song out of your head) which indicate very little money from your used car goes to the actual charity you want to support. I read one newspaper report about a 18 year old Oldsmobile that sold at auction for only $700. The actual charity received a check for $25. :? So if you want to donate your car to help people this is not the way to go.

But I found one that does not use a third party.
The Salvation Army in Anaheim California operates a used car lot.

I wanted my used car to do the most good for people in need. And it looks like they will get the most out if it because the sell it retail. If they discount the price for someone who really needs a car, I'm okay with that. I know they are a Christian Church and have a rehab program that actually helps people get off drugs and alcohol, gives them a place to stay as long as they don't use, and puts them to work.

Regarding tax Deductions, from my understanding, if your car is worth > $500, you can only deduct what a charity gets for your car.

~~~~~~~~~~~ UPDATE ~~~~~~~~~~
The Salvation Army took about a month, but they got full value for the car. They received $3,400 for my 19 year old Toyota Camry, which is more than I thought I could sell it for. :happy
Last edited by sigmadave_2000 on Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Car Donation

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:18 pm

sigmadave_2000 wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:43 pm
Regarding tax Deductions, from my understanding, if your car is worth > $500, you can only deduct what a charity gets for your car.
Basically, unless the charity uses it. Sometimes with a good running vehicle they will give it or lend it to a family that needs transportation, or use themselves for deliverys/carpools. Then it's "fair market".

These days it is less common for people to even be able to deduct the contribution. You might be better off calling a scrap yard and see what they'll give you for it on tow-away basis. You can then donate the cash if you want.
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