If you have an old or used vehicle that you no longer need, you may be wondering what to do with it. Taking your vehicle to an auto donation service is a great way to help people in your community. Before you can donate your vehicle, here are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare it:
Check Your State’s Laws on Auto Donation
Research your state’s laws regarding vehicle donations. Every state has different rules that determine who can accept a donated vehicle and how vehicles must be handled after donation. For example, some states regulate how often you can donate and how long the charity has before they have to register the car. Know what’s required beforehand so that everything goes smoothly.
Gather and Update the Paperwork
Locate your vehicle’s title and other documents related to the car’s ownership. A title proves that you are the legal owner of the car; without it, the donation service cannot accept your vehicle as a donation. If you don’t have your title handy, call your local Department of Motor Vehicles for assistance (DMV). If you have recently changed insurance companies, you might need to wait to receive a new policy card before receiving your title.
All of the paperwork for your vehicle should be up-to-date and in order. Any outstanding tickets or fines associated with your vehicle will also need to be paid before you can donate your car.
Contact an Auto Donation Charity
Contact a local charity that accepts donated cars. You can find a list of charities by searching online for “nonprofit organizations near me”. Once you find one that seems like a good fit, call them or visit their website or social media pages for more information about their policies and procedures for accepting vehicles as donations.
Ask about any special requirements for vehicle registration, license plates, or titles if needed. Call around and find out what types of vehicles local charities accept and what information they require from you when making arrangements for donation pickup.
Clean and Prepare Your Vehicle
Make sure your car is in good physical condition before donating it. You may want to take it to a car wash or wash it yourself. Clean the inside of your car and remove any trash or debris from the floorboards, rugs, and seats. Remove all personal items from inside your car; you will not likely be able to retrieve them after the car is donated. Check the back seat, trunk, glove compartment, and cupholders for loose items or trash.
If your car is excessively dirty or does not function properly, it is probably not suitable for a donation. Your car should be clean and functional so that whoever receives it can benefit from using it.
Take Pictures for a Tax Deduction
If you want to be able to write off the value of your car as a tax deduction, you’ll need pictures of it before you donate it. These pictures should show all aspects of the vehicle, including any areas that have been damaged, recently replaced, or modified. This will allow the IRS to verify that what they see matches what was in your pictures.
Take pictures of the car before cleaning it or changing anything about it. Keep all other documentation on file in case any questions arise later. Having clear documentation of the quality and condition of your vehicle can help safeguard your claim during the tax deduction process.
Completing Your Auto Donation
Donating your car can be a great way to help others in need. When you donate your vehicle, find a locally recognized charity that is honest and reputable. After you have taken all of the necessary steps to clean, document, and prepare your vehicle, it’s time to donate it. Auto donation is a straightforward, simple way to help people in your community have access to better transportation. Contact a charity today about your auto donation to learn more about the process.