Auto Donation – Before You Donate A Car To Charity

Are You Considering Making A Charitable Car Donation?

If you are deciding to donate a car to charity, you probably want to know how much it will be valued at. This requires you to fairly assess what purpose it will likely be used for as well as its true condition.

When consulting the Kelley Blue Book for a generalized appraisal value, many people fail to consider that even a “poor” rating assumes that the car can move without facing downhill and that it’s capable of getting current tags in the state that it’s registered in.

Of course, by the time many people even think to make a charitable car donation, they’re often far beyond this point. Indeed, since a great many charities (or their third-party, for-profit agents) will more than happily send someone to pick up vehicles that haven’t run under their own power, you can be assured that even the scrap metal has more value than you might think.

Charitable Car Donation

Charitable Car Donation

Finding The Value Of Your Car

The first thing to do is to take a look at the Blue Book value, for private party sales. This is the value you can expect to get when you put an ad in the paper and try to sell the car yourself. Before you donate a car to charity, you need to know what other people are paying for it before you get any grand ideas of whittling your tax bill down to nothing.

There will be a section by where you answer a series of specific questions about the condition of the car. You may be surprised just how a few small dings can really impact the resale value whether or not you choose to donate the car. Charity organizations, of course, have the same access to these figures as yourself. So, be honest. If you come up with a condition that is less than “poor,” odds are you’ll have to settle for the paltry sum the auto will pick up at the wholesale auctions.

Is Your Car Donation Scrap Metal?

Unless you’re able to find a charity that will use your car as a car (rather than scrap metal and parts), you’ll have to accept that the charity you choose will get only 30-50% of that revenue after the price of towing is figured in.

If, on the other hand, you’re able to find a charity that has a training program to teach young people the mechanical arts, perhaps there is a way to get a bit more for your car. However, if you’ve got a terrible clunker, you probably ought to forget it. There’s no point in fixing something up if it has no chance of being either valuable or cool.

It may take a while, but after as many as nine months, you’ll get a slip of paper informing you of what your donated car at charity auction sold for and netted the school you donated it to. Colleges are also able to receive auto donations that will be refurbished and resold, to your mutual benefit.

It is also useful to consider that you may receive a higher deduction value if your car is refurbished and donated to a needy individual or family in the area. Some cities run programs like this and are even able to accept should you donate your car to the charity of you municipal government.

Organizations that teach people basic car maintenance and body work are probably not as interested in fast and swishy-looking cars, but will take a serviceable vehicle that has very little wrong with it. If you happen to know what the problem is, all the better, as it will give the charitable organization or NPO something to base a decision upon.

So, consider the value of your car when it’s been fixed up, both a little and a lot when you’re deciding what to do when you donate a car to charity Though not a credit to take off your total tax bill, deductions reduce the income you’re to be taxed upon. The actual amount of money you’ll save (or be refunded) is dependent upon your tax bracket.

However, by taking some time and effort when you donate a car to charity, you can vastly increase the amount of money your car is worth as a deduction under the new IRS rulings affecting auto donation and deductible amounts.


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