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FAQs about Vehicle Donations

Business woman for FAQs about National Public radio vehicle donation.We have put together some frequently asked questions which many people inquire about when wanting to learn about making a vehicle donation. These questions are aimed to the four topics that most of these inquires have fallen under, namely tax deductibility questions, vehicle information, about non-profits and important aspects of the donation process and lastly, having your charities information included. On our main tutorial pages we cover most of this information in greater detail, however FAQs are a great resource for scanning and finding answers quickly. We hope you find our articles informative. Lastly, we have added a section for non-profits who would like to be listed within our website under the state in which they operate.

Over 70 percent of all contributions to non-profit organizations received come from individuals. One quarter of those contributions come during the autumn months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Briefcase icon.Information about Donate Car Radio. What we do and don't do.

What services does DonateCarRadio offer?

We offer information only. We believe informed donators make the best decisions and can use our website as a resource when considering donating a vehicle. We do not offer valuations on vehicles of any type, but do offer information that will help guide you. We do not take any donations ourselves. We do suggest donating to your local Public Radio Station and do list some good organizations you might consider for your donation, that you then need to contact directly for the complete donation process. We do offer general online readable information on possible tax benefits (Tax benefits should not be the primary reason to donate a car to charity.), however for your individual specific tax consequences you need to consult with your own accountant or tax advisor.

We want to donate a vehicle, but don't see a charity close to us. Do you recommend others upon request?

No. We do have however, in addition to your local Public Radio station and charities that we recommend by region, list several National Organizations that have car programs and come highly recommended. You'll find them under the heading "A Few Nationwide Programs" with a direct link. Additionally, Goodwill Industries, has many locations in every state and would be a good option. Read about them and find a link for a location close to you at Donate to Goodwill.

Can we get our charity listed in DonateCarRadio?

We do list some charities that take vehicle donations, if they are a registered 501(c)(3) organization and have a donation program in place with a landing page on their website with a contact phone number. Additionally, if accepted and listed after our review (we look for an explanation of the services and charity work that your organization does, that your website clearly states you are a registered 501(c)(3), and information on how potential donors can contact you directly), we will offer a link to your charities' website with the charities' direct contact information (phone number and address).

Pencil icon.General information about possible tax benefits when donating a vehicle to charity.


Are all donations to a non-profit tax deductible?

Find out if the charity is an approved 501(c)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If not, your deduction could be disqualified. Approved charities are generally listed in the IRS online tool called the Exempt Organizations Select Check. Your church, synagogue, temple or mosque might not be listed, but would still qualify.

All non-profits are not equal. Donations to 501(c)(4) organizations are generally not tax-deductible, as they are political organizations with permission to lobby government. Disabled American Veterans and the National Rifle Association are 501(c)(4) organizations.

I have found that the organization that I want to donate to is a listed 501(c)(3). Is there resources where I can find out more about how well they spend their money and if they have good ratings?

Yes. There are online resources that can offer information for many non-profits and how well they rate when ranked for specific information (aka efficiency rating) about how well they distribute their resources among other things.

How many types of non-profits are there?

While 501(c)(3) organizations make the bulk of non-profits (with over 70%) and charitable contributions are deductible, there are others like 501(c)(4), and 501(c)(6), which constitute business leagues, chamber of commerce, and 501(c)(5) which comprise of labor, agricultural, and horticultural organizations which have a no charitable contribution deduction.

What type of information should I keep when donating a vehicle?

To substantiate your tax deduction keep written information like the name and address of the charity, the date on which the donation was made, where the car was donated and a description, including VIN number, of the vehicle.

Briefcase icon.Questions about the types of vehicles that can generally be donated to most charities and their current condition.


What paperwork will I need to donate a vehicle?

You will need to provide proof of ownership of the vehicle you wish to donate, which for a car would be the title. Other vehicles may or may not have titles depending on the type and the state where you live. If in doubt it would be best to talk with the charity that you have selected and explain what type of vehicle you want to donate and what, if any, paperwork you do have.

What types of vehicles can be donated?

Cars are just one type of vehicle that can be donated and although they comprise the largest group, trucks of all types, motorcycles, RVs (recreational vehicles), which comprise of motorhomes, travel trailers, pop-up campers and truck slide-in campers, boats, jet skis, and even golf carts can be donated in most cases. Check with the charity of your choice for further guidance to be absolutely sure.

Does the condition of the vehicle matter?

Cars that do not start or run are excepted, as they are picked up by a tow truck. Vehicles will be accepted in most conditions, however they should be whole, not in parts and some cases exist where a vehicle may not be accepted because of an unusual situation.

Briefcase icon.Questions about why donate and the process of car donation.

Other tan a tax deduction why should I donate?

In most cases donations are made less for want of a tax deduction than to know that one is doing good for the community. Whether the non-profit is a church, helping the homeless, rescuing animals, National Public Radio or an organization doing some other good work, the satisfaction of giving is a large motivation in most people's donation.

Why is dealing directly with the charity the best way to donate a vehicle?

By contacting the charity or non-profit directly you offer them the best chance to receive a greater share of the proceeds from the vehicle sale. If the charity is local, then it is possible that they actually use or sell cars themselves further increasing the value of the gift. If they use a service company that handles the pick-up and disposal of the vehicle, then by contacting them directly they will start the process using a preselected partner. That partner service company has already agreed with the charity on their fees resulting in lower costs.

Is a local charity the only ones that should be considered?

Actually, local is great, especially if you plan on driving the vehicle and dropping it off (if it's in drivable condition). However, most charities can and do work with local companies to pick up the donated vehicle, complete paperwork and then dispose of it. Then there are some excellent national organizations (that may have local chapters), which should be considered, along with NPR. Which ever non-profit is your choice the important aspect is to choose one that does the type of charitable work that you like and is in good standing.

My car will need to be towed. Who pays for that service?

During the donation process certain things will be discussed with the charity, some of which will be about the vehicle and if it towing will be required. In most cases the charity should arrange and pay for this service, but always make sure that is the case.

Briefcase icon.Questions about choosing a charity and knowing that they are reputable.

Which charities are best for a car donation?

First, there are many, many great charities that do excellent work of all types. You should in most cases consider a 501c3 non-profit, church or other religious organization that does the type of charity that most interests you. They should be in good standing and have had their non-profit paperwork and tax forms submitted in a timely manor. There are resources online that makes available information about non-profits which should be helpful in knowing that a particular organization is reputable.

Gears icon.More questions about having your charity listed on Donate Car Public Radio.

How do we get our 501c3 charity included in your recommended local charities?

Donations can come from any one. There are quite a few aged cars making it to their final resting place daily. We want to put you in touch with that owner when the time is right.

It's easy and absolutely free. Just use the following link and answer a few questions about your organization. Once you submit the completed form you will receive information about the two step process. We will review your information and include information about your 501c3 organization where our visitors will find access to your website.

List Your Charity Today

Does Donate Car Radio collect any fees for adding charities or referring donors to non-profits?

No. We offer online information and resources for people who are interested in finding out more about making a car donation. We want to connect donors directly to the non-profits that do the type of charity that means most to them, so that more of the vehicle proceeds end up with that charity.