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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,475
Registered: ‎03-14-2015

Have You Ever Donated A Vehicle to Charity?

My dad is hanging up his keys (not by choice), and now to decide what to do with the old (and I do mean old!) truck.

 

It's an '86 Nissan, still runs, although it needs a lot of body work.

 

The local (no-kill) animal shelter accepts vehicle donations, and I am considering that.

 

Has anybody ever donated a vehicle to charity?

 

What was your experience like?

 

Tell me the good, the bad and the ugly, please.

 

Thank-you in advance!

Valued Contributor
Posts: 560
Registered: ‎03-18-2012

Re: Have You Ever Donated A Vehicle to Charity?

Yes, we donated our 18 year old car to Goodwill.  Easy as pie.  Back then you just used the blue book value on your tax return, but now I think it depends on the actual price they get at auction.  Our NPR station will even come get your car if you donate through the Car Talk program.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 41,313
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Have You Ever Donated A Vehicle to Charity?

here is the irs information regarding donation of cars to legitimate charities.

no, you cannot just deduct the blue book value, you MUST take into consideration the overall condition of the vehicle also.

 

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/pub4303.pdf

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"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." - Albert Einstein
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,188
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Have You Ever Donated A Vehicle to Charity?

[ Edited ]

Years ago, one of the tv shows - I believe it was 60 Minutes or Dateline - donated a car to a charity and followed up. The charity sold the car to a guy from a body shop - and he paid a minimal amount for the car. So - he made the money when he fixed up the car and sold it. Another program interviewed a female who donated her car to a charity - and she saw the guy at the charity driving it around town months later. SCAM

Many people buy cars in bad condition --- put an ad on Craigslist and it will be gone fast.

If u feel like making a donation to a charity, after u sell the car, u could donate.

Soon - they'll be asking for ur house. Now - Everyone - is asking for ur car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,423
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Have You Ever Donated A Vehicle to Charity?

I donated my beloved minivan a couple years ago- you get at least $500 as a deduction, the charity (Kars4Kids) followed up with a tax receipt after the auction. My minivan with over 150,000 miles sold for $900 at the auction!! I might have gotten more for it if I sold the car, but the headaches saved were more valuable in the long run.

 

On a side note, I wish my Dad had his license taken away in his later years, as Executor of his estate I'm dealing with a car lease situation. Woman Frustrated The leasing company was intentionally deceitful! 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,014
Registered: ‎05-24-2016

Re: Have You Ever Donated A Vehicle to Charity?

I believe the tax write-off is for exactly what the car is worth, meaning condition of vehicle inside and out.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 21,957
Registered: ‎10-03-2011

Re: Have You Ever Donated A Vehicle to Charity?

This probably doesn't count.  We donated a car to our local high school for a "car bash" that was part of the Homecoming festivities.  I'm pretty sure we were able to take a tax deduction and the junior class made a few bucks selling tickets to people who wanted to use a sledgehammer and take a swing at the car.  A local towing company hauled it away to the scrap yard when it was all over.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 560
Registered: ‎03-18-2012

Re: Have You Ever Donated A Vehicle to Charity?

I should have added that our donation was 18 years ago.  I know they tightened things up later, as many charities were not making much from the cars, and cars were being valued beyond their worth.  Our donated car was in very good condition.  I would not be comfortable donating a car with lots of problems.  Still, donating was a good solution for us at the time, as it may be for the OP since her father will not be replacing the car.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,423
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Have You Ever Donated A Vehicle to Charity?

[ Edited ]

@athenian wrote:

I should have added that our donation was 18 years ago.  I know they tightened things up later, as many charities were not making much from the cars, and cars were being valued beyond their worth.  Our donated car was in very good condition.  I would not be comfortable donating a car with lots of problems.  Still, donating was a good solution for us at the time, as it may be for the OP since her father will not be replacing the car.


Yes, the IRS tightened up the deduction guidelines significantly! I donated a car in the 1990's,  we just used the kelly or blue book value. Now it needs to be the value at auction. Kelly and blue book doesn't take the vehicle condition in and out into consideration enough. On a  side note, Kars4Kids told me most often the auctioned cars are  used for parts-- so the overall condition isn't necessarily a major factor if it sells (or doesn't)  at auction.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 748
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Have You Ever Donated A Vehicle to Charity?

Yes we donated just last year (March 2015) to Purple Heart.  Very easy process.  After it sold at auction they contacted us for info for the form for the IRS (it sold for more than the minumum value for tax purposes).  If you do not provide your SSN you can only take whatever the IRS says is the minimum value for donation.  I would do it again if needed in the future.  We had wanted to donate it to the local high school automative department for training but could not get it started and work out the logistics to get it to them before the winter blizzards started...