When you’re living with an old vehicle, you have a big decision to make: do you keep the car and repair it, sell the car and make some cash, or get rid of it by scrapping it for parts? If you have an old car sitting in your driveway that you need to get rid of, consider donating it instead of selling or junking it.

Here’s why donating your car can be a smart, financially savvy decision.

It’s Easier Than Selling Your Old Car

Selling your old car can be a smart decision: if the car is still in good shape, finding a buyer could help you recoup some cash. Even if the car is a decade or more old, you can likely get a few hundred dollars – or even a few thousand – if it’s still running.

However, selling your old car takes quite a bit of effort. You’ll need to make sure the car is safe to drive, which means you may need to spend money to repair it. You’ll also need to make it appealing to potential buyers, taking photos and making efforts to clean, repaint, or restore the car in different ways. And finding a buyer who’s willing to take the car off your hands takes time.

However, if you opt to donate your vehicle instead, the entire process of getting rid of the car becomes easier. In fact, it’s almost effortless.

Charitable organizations of all kinds will accept vehicles as donations – and as Goodwill explains, it doesn’t matter if your car works, because “anything that has an engine” is something a charity can use. Charities will accept cars in any condition, whether they run, need repairs, or need to be scrapped.

You’ll Be Giving Back to Your Community

Donating your car is the perfect opportunity to give back to your local community. And no matter which organization you choose, donating your car will mean that old vehicle gets put to use helping others.

You can donate your car to any charity that accepts vehicle donations – and some of the biggest charitable organizations in America accept vehicles. The Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) are just a few examples of some of the many charities that accept donated cars.

If you don’t know how donating your car will help others, you just need to know that the charity you choose will put the car to use in whatever way best suits their purpose and their charitable work. For example, if you donate a vehicle that’s still operable but needs a few repairs, your car will likely be repaired and used for charitable works or even given to someone in need thanks to the charity. If you donate a car that no longer runs and can’t be fixed, charitable organizations can sell your car and use the money they receive for those in need.

No matter which of these examples happens with your old car, you’ll know your donation is being put to good use when it’s in the hands of a charity in your area. Your old vehicle can help a single charity do more good in the world, and that vehicle will offer financial help or transportation help to someone in need.

Donating a Car Can Get You a Tax Deduction

If you think donating your car means you’ll have to miss out on getting a little cash back, you’ll be surprised to know that you can actually make some money off your donation. Selling your car may put a bit of money into your pocket, but donating your car can do exactly the same thing come tax time.

When you donate your car, you’ll be eligible for a tax deduction. All you need to do to score this deduction is:

  • Donate your car to a legitimate charity (one that’s been granted 501c3 status by the IRS)
  • Get a receipt from the charity that proves your vehicle was donated
  • Have proof of the value of your auto donation (which can be on the receipt or another form from the charity you choose)
  • Fill out IRS Form 1098c (if your car is worth more than $500)

You can get a deduction worth the value of your car when filing your taxes if you choose to donate your vehicle. And depending on the details of your tax return, it could reduce the amount you owe or potentially increase the refund you receive.

Find a Charity for Your Old Car Today

Donating your car to charity is a smart decision. Making a donation to charity puts your vehicle in the hands of those in needs, and it relieves the need to perform any expensive repairs or upgrades to make your car worthy of being sold. And come tax time, you can reap the benefits by listing your vehicle donation as a deduction on your tax forms.

If you’re ready to donate your car to charity, you just need to find the right charity for your vehicle. To ensure you choose a charity that’s recognized by the IRS, search online and look for charities that accept vehicle donations and have 501c3 status. You can choose any charity that meets these requirements – and you can even begin filling out the information you need to donate your car right online.

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This article was worked on by a variety of people from the Autoversed team, including freelancers, editors, and/or other full-time employees.