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Infactual Articles » Automobile Donation

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How to Donate Your Automobile to Charity

Posted in Automobile Donation on May 4th, 2007

If you are ready to get rid of an old car, why not donate it to charity? You may help a person in need and even apply for a tax deduction. Most donated automobiles go to non-profit charity organizations and these benefiting groups usually will take care of all the cumbersome paperwork. Usually the automobile is then auctioned off, the proceeds going to the charity. Not only is donating your used car a smart, financial choice, but you can help out the community too.

Here are some tips for donating your vehicle.

First, find a charity that accepts automobile donations and avoid for-profit charities, as their integrity is more questionable than non-profit charities. Even the most reputable agencies often keep up to 50% of the value of your donation for internal needs – some keep as much as 90 to 100%. If you have a favorite charity or if there is an organization you’ve donated to in the past, find out if they have an automobile donation program. Make sure the charity that you donate to is worthy of your donation.

Also, when donating a car, make sure to minimize the costs this may incur on the charity group. Drive the car to the destination yourself – don’t require it to be towed.

Next, if you are using an intermediary agency to process your donation, research the percentage amount that it will scrape off of the funds that will finally end up with the charity. Try to find a “middleman” that only asks for a small percentage. Many non-profit groups are afraid to criticize agencies that process donations because they understandably don’t want to lose money. State attorney generals frequently investigate these agencies for fraud and deception, but you must do your part to make sure they are legitimate.

Lastly, it is time to transfer the automobile to the charity! Some organizations will ask you to leave the ownership title blank, as they don’t wish to re-title it just yet. This is not a good idea – because in this scenario, you can then be liable for any parking violations or crimes that are committed with the car.

Donating an automobile is beneficial to both you and your community but it is a task that must be taken seriously.