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Before You Donate Your Car

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Whether you're doing it out of the kindness of your heart or just for the tax deduction, donating your car for a charitable purpose can have a huge impact. Before you make any arrangements, it's important that you answer a few questions for your own sake first. Not only will this help you decide which organization gets your old vehicle, such as Newgate School, but you'll be sure that it will benefit the people who receive it as much as possible without creating a burden in the process.


Regardless of the cause you're donating to or your reason for doing so, make sure you have all the necessary documentation in order ahead of time. This should include registration, title, and some way to prove the value of the vehicle, either an industry standard evaluation or an independent appraisal. Even if you're not claiming the donation for tax purposes most charitable organizations need to know the value of donations the receive.

Make sure you also get a receipt from whomever you donate your car to as well. Even though your motivation might have been entirely selfless the tax benefit of a large donation such as a vehicle shouldn't simply be cast aside. Having documentation of the donation will allow you to claim it on your taxes at the end of the year.

The State of Your Car

The condition of your vehicle should inform your decision on where to donate it. If your car is in poor shape contact local community colleges and trade schools to find out if their auto repair classes need vehicles for instructional purposes. The students will benefit from the hands on training that a full vehicle can provide, and you'll be confident that it's going to a good cause.

Vehicles that have a lot of miles on them, but are serviceable and functional, can go on to serve a much different purpose. Families that have recently been victims of natural disasters in your area, local women's shelters, churches, and transportation services for the elderly can all put a vehicle to use. Larger vehicles like vans and trucks can also be used by food banks and non-profit thrift stores for hauling goods.

Even if your motives aren't entirely selfless it's still a good idea to plan ahead when donating your vehicle. Knowing what you'll need to hand over, and where your car can provide the most benefit will help expedite the process. You'll get the paperwork you need, and the organization you donate to will be able to put it to use a lot faster.