Q:

How do you donate a car?

A:

Quick Answer

To donate a car, you must identify an organization that accepts vehicles and fill out the associated paperwork. Before the recipient accepts the car, you must complete a title transfer and registration cancellation. Some states may also require a form that transfers liability to the organization.

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How do you donate a car?
Credit: Robert Couse-Baker CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

A number of organizations accept donated vehicles, including the National Kidney Foundation, the American Cancer Society and The Sierra Club. Most charitable organizations collect your personal information, confirm acceptance and wait for you to transfer the title. Larger charities often offer free car pickup, while smaller groups may require you to drop it off. A few weeks later, the organization sends a receipt that details the resale amount of the vehicle for tax purposes.

If you plan to deduct the donation on your taxes, you must file an itemized return. As of March 2015, the IRS allows tax deductions for donated vehicles that are equal to the gross proceeds from the sale up to $500; deductions of more than $500 require a written acknowledgement. You may claim the vehicle's fair market value if the charity uses the vehicle for its operation, improves the car to increase its value significantly or helps a needy person by selling the vehicle at a dramatically reduced price.

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