| Kidney Cars

What You Need To Know About Donating Your Car To Charity

August 01, 2018, 9:51am EDT

man in front of a car

More and more people consider vehicle donations to charity as a way to help their favorite cause and get a deduction on their taxes. Because car donation is increasing in popularity as a form of contribution, it’s important to make sure that the charity is trustworthy and that the car donated will in fact benefit the charity.



Here are some tips on how to donate a car successfully and safely:

1. Research a car donation charity.

One resource to help you make an educated decision is Give.org. You can observe how the charity functions and what happens with your donation when you look up the charity on give.org. There are comprehensive Standards for Charity Accountability that charities are evaluated with and accredited if all 20 are met. You will want to ensure that the charity you choose is a 501(c)3. This can be done on the IRS website.

2. Ask questions.

Ask the organization if they will be auctioning the vehicle, giving it away to a person in need, or using the car for their needs. This is important to know for tax purposes. If the vehicle is being sold, find out how the process works and what amount of the proceeds will go to the charity.

3. Avoid charity scams.

Be leery if you are contacted randomly about donating your vehicle to a charity. It’s likely that the organization is actually a hoax. It’s better to be proactive in donating your old car, than reactive. Find a trustworthy organization who’s cause you can support and move on from there.

4. Fill out essential paperwork.

It’s important that the car’s title is transferred to the charity’s name. If the organization requests you to leave the ownership assignment on the donation documents blank, that should raise a red flag. You could be held accountable for any tickets or fines involving the car if ownership wasn’t signed over to the name of the charity.  

5. Report car donation to the IRS.

Be sure to report your vehicle donation to the IRS. The amount you are able to claim on your tax forms will depend on how your car was used to benefit the charity, for example if it was given to someone in need or or sold at auction. Typically the charity will send you a form giving you that amount. You can check with the IRS report called “A Donor’s Guide to Vehicle Donation” and their website for more information on correctly deducting your car donation.

Kidney cars accepts car donations for the National Kidney Foundation. You can donate a car, van, truck, motorcycle and even a boat, ATV, and tractor. We also accept a vehicle if it doesn’t run, provided you have a title for it. If you don’t have a title, call us and we can help with that as well.

The National Kidney Foundation meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability and is a BBB Accredited Charity. For more than 3 decades, Kidney Cars has been the most trusted program for car donations. Each year, proceeds from donated vehicles help kidney patients and those at risk.

  • Help improve lives and donate your vehicle today.

  • We accept vehicles even if they no longer are running, as long as they have a title.

  • There is no cost to you, simply call us at 800.488.CARS (2277) or complete our online form.

  • Then schedule a pick up time that fits your schedule. You can make a difference in the lives of millions with kidney disease.