A trip to your local charity with donations often includes clothing, household items, and books. You may even have some special unique items like a treadmill or piano. Maybe you have a rare antique. But what about a car? Car donation centers and charitable organizations like Goodwill accept more than just cars and trucks. Goodwill car donation accepts motorcycles, scooters, RVs and motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, hauling trailers, sailboats, pontoon boats and speedboats, personal watercraft like jet skis, golf carts, farm equipment, ATVs, snowmobiles, and even airplanes! If you have something that moves, organizations like Goodwill will accept it and even pick it up to prevent you from having to spend time or money transporting it.
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There are many reasons why donating a vehicle to a charity is beneficial for not only the charitable organization or individual recipient, but you as well. From financial gain to gaining extra space in your driveway to helping your business community, read further to discover more reasons why taking your car to one of many car donation centers and donating a car to charity is helpful on so many levels and to so many people.
1. You receive a tax deduction
An organization is classified as a charity if it is registered as a 501c3 under the federal tax code. This means the organization pays no taxes, and those who donate items for money to the charity are eligible to declare a tax deduction for their donations on their annual tax returns. If you take your car to one of many car donation centers that are affiliated with qualified charitable organizations, you will be eligible for a tax-deduction for your car donation. In other words, if you owe money in taxes and donate a vehicle, you can lower your tax bill by the federally allowed limit for the car donation.
Goodwill car donation will make things very convenient and efficient for you. The organization will pick up your vehicle and it will be taken to a local dealers auction to be sold to someone who will either use the parts alone or refurbish it for personal use or to resell. After it is sold at auction, Goodwill will provide you with a receipt showing the sales amount and information for the vehicle. This is your proof of donation to a qualified organization and the tax-deductible amount. It should be kept with your personal records for reference when completing your federal taxes in the spring.
2. Clean up your yard and garage
If you have an unused or broken-down vehicle in your garage, driveway, or yard, donating that car gets it out of your way. You can gain needed garage space through a car donation and your neighbors will probably be very appreciative of your now neat and tidy property that will be much more visually appealing and free of an unmoved vehicle.
Most car donation centers do not require the vehicle to be in good working condition. This is because the vehicle is sometimes sold at an auction and could be used for only parts. Some organizations have volunteer mechanics who will work on the car free of charge and get it to a safe working condition. While the vehicle can usually be in any condition, it must have a clear title showing you have the right to donate it. It is important to note that if ya car has been abandoned, charities are not allowed to pick up a car without the consent of theperson who is authorized to make decisions for that vehicle.
3. Get rid of a car with high maintenance costs
Perhaps you have a vehicle with expensive costs for ongoing maintenance, like oil changes, new tires, operational belts, and other parts. You might think that a person who is unable to afford a vehicle will also be unable to afford the routine maintenance expenses, and you are perhaps correct. However, car donation centers can accept your car donation, utilize donated mechanic labor to complete any and all needed work to get the vehicle cleaned up and in good working order, and then sell it to another person. The proceeds from the sale of your vehicle will benefit the charitable organization and allow it to use those funds for operational expenses and services for the community.
4. The car needs costly repairs
Your vehicle may need expensive repairs and perhaps is even inoperable without putting a large amount of money into necessary work. Car donation centers and charitable organizations that accept vehicles also have volunteers that donate their time to complete these types of mechanical and even body repairs. The organization can accept your car donation, have it repaired with no out-of-pocket costs incurred by the charity, and then sell the vehicle to use the proceeds for ongoing services and expenses. Some charitable organizations do not sell vehicles, but instead, gift them directly to those in need of quality, reliable transportation. This means people in need in your own community can receive the vehicle in good working condition and will immediately put that donation to positive use. You will be helping your fellow neighbor.
5. Lower your expenses
The cost of a vehicle includes far more than just purchasing it. Not only do you have ongoing maintenance expenses, but there is the cost of gas, insurance, and license registration to consider. Some states require annual safety and vehicle emissions inspections and may also collect an annual property tax on vehicles. If you have a vehicle you are not using, you are able to decrease these expenses from your budget by seeking out one of many car donation centers and passing your vehicle along for better use to someone else.
During this time when so many people are working from home, think about how often you are driving the vehicles in your garage or driveway. Chances are you might have a vehicle sitting more than you are driving it. Donating your vehicle is an opportunity to reduce your expenses and increase your savings account or pay down debt with the money you would be spending on the upkeep of the vehicle.
6. Help those in need who can’t afford a vehicle
Some organizations gift vehicles directly to those in need. The ultimate recipient of your car donation is typically vetted by the gifting organization to ensure they are able to afford the ongoing maintenance expenses that go along with car ownership. This is intended to help the recipient not get into a situation where the cost of upkeep and maintenance of the vehicle becomes a source of stress and perhaps the person falls behind in bills due to the car’s expenses.
A common problem for people who don’t own a vehicle is saving enough money for the large upfront purchase of the vehicle. There also is the sales tax that must be paid when purchasing a car. Your car donation removes the barrier of this large expense.
Additionally, those without a vehicle rely on public transportation for everyday tasks like grocery shopping and going to a doctor. Imagine having to take time every day or so to go to the grocery store because you can only carry so many bags of groceries at a time. Imagine if you are sick and must sit on a bus or train for an extended time to get to and from a doctor. Not only is this uncomfortable for you, but potentially exposing others to your germs. Your car donation makes these types of chores simply more convenient for others so they can enjoy more time doing other things they enjoy when not at work.
7. Support community organizations
Charitable organizations support their communities through various services. They rely on donations for funding to keep their services open and available to the community. When you make a car donation, you are helping that organization with needed funding for operational expenses and supporting the organization in its mission to serve the community. Goodwill car donation allows the organization to provide important resources and services to the community like much needed employment and job placement services. An employed community helps everyone in the community by reducing the amount of needed social services and the number of people needing those services. More employed people are also able to make purchases and support businesses with the money they spend in the community.
8. Recipients of donated vehicles can more easily get involved in their communities
Those who receive donated vehicles are typically engaged in their communities through work, volunteerism, and activity participation. They are appreciative of the help that has been bestowed upon them and they often spend time helping others in their communities. Additionally, it is easier for children to get involved in school, church, and community activities when their parents have the means to take them and pick them up from their activities. Children who are involved in extracurricular activities stay out of trouble and do better in school. Removing the stress of not having a vehicle and providing a path for families to be active in their communities benefits everyone.
9. Supporting businesses when employees can get to work more easily
Public transportation can sometimes come with challenges. Bus stops and train stations may be spread out, requiring long walks in the cold, heat, and rain. Public transportation can get off schedule and cause people to be late for work, which adds stress on a daily basis. Many states have started programs as they realize the importance of car ownership. A reliable vehicle allows a person to miss fewer days of work and arrive on time more often. When employees are able to remove the stress of how to get to work each day, they are able to better focus on their work, be more productive when at work, and excel in their jobs. Car donation centers and your car donation can help support local businesses with more reliable, engaged, and productive employees.
10. Charities help people donate inherited vehicles with titles in other names
If you have inherited a vehicle, it is possible the title is in the name of the deceased person who gifted it to you. You may be unsure of what to do, what paperwork is involved, and where to go to update the paperwork so you are able to license, sell, or give the vehicle away. Car donation centers have the resources and knowledge to help you navigate this process. They will work with you to obtain the necessary legal information and documentation so you are able to donate the vehicle to a worthy cause.
Donating to Goodwill
Goodwill car donation and other charities makes charitable giving of your vehicle easy and convenient. There often is no need to pay for towing. Most provide free pickup of your vehicle and are willing to meet at a convenient location of your choice, whether work, home, school, or another location. You simply need to call, schedule a pickup, and then be ready on the scheduled day and time. If your vehicle is at a repair shop, Goodwill car donation representatives will arrange a convenient time with the business to pick up and tow your vehicle at no charge to you. Make sure to remove your license plates before watching your vehicle drive away and make sure you turn over the keys, car accessories, and necessary paperwork.
Charities that accept vehicles through car donation centers do so with the intention of either selling them to use the proceeds for ongoing organization expenses and community services or to provide them to those in need of reliable transportation to help with their daily chores and work commute. There are many reasons why you could benefit from donating your vehicle. In addition to the 10 reasons listed above is the intrinsic feeling you will gain from your car donation, which is a very generous act. Giving away something that you no longer use, but are able to donate to someone who can benefit from it in such grand ways and put it to productive use will provide a wonderful feeling of goodness in you and overwhelming appreciation by the recipient.