How Does Car Donation Work?

Are you entertaining the possibility of donating your car, and curious about the process? You might be surprised at how simple and straightforward the process can be when you work with a reputable nonprofit organization! While it might seem like a difficult task, donating your car can be as easy as making a phone call. There are only a few steps involved in the process, and far less paperwork is required than you'd need for a private sale. Read on to learn more about how car donation works and how you can donate your car to charity.

  1. Decide what charity you want to benefit
  2. Whenever you donate your car, the vehicle is auctioned off by the donation organization. The proceeds of this sale can are then forwarded to the charity of your choice. The car donation service will handle all the details of the sale and get the money to your charity. However, choosing a nonprofit can be difficult, especially if you have several causes that are important to you. This part of the process is a deeply personal one, and ultimately it comes down to whatever you feel is right.

  3. Find a reputable car donation service
  4. Now that you've selected a charity, it's time to select a car donation service. Not all car donation services are equal, and there are a few key factors to look for when making your choice. First, ensure that your chosen service will work with the charity of your choice, as some will only work with specific charities. Also, you'll want to make sure they work with 501(c)(3) nonprofits, so your donation is tax-deductible. Finally, you will want to check to make sure that the car donation organization you choose also offers complimentary pickup services, especially if your vehicle doesn't run.

  5. Contact the car donation service
  6. Once you have chosen a reputable car donation organization (we recommend Charitable Adult Rides and Services), the next step is to contact them. The representative will discuss details with you and review any necessary paperwork.

  7. Arrange a pickup time
  8. After speaking with the car donation service and filling out any necessary intake forms, you are ready to schedule a pickup time. The car donation service will work with you to arrange a pickup time that is convenient for you. Once the car is towed away, be sure to file a transfer of your title. Again, this should be reviewed with you during your call with a donation representative.

  9. Wait for the tax receipt
  10. After the car donation service takes possession of the vehicle, they will auction it off to generate proceeds for your charity. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Once the sale has been completed, the car donation company will get the money over to the charity you selected. The charity should be able to confirm that the donation was received. After this, the car donation organization will prepare a tax receipt for you. This receipt is what you will need to earn a tax deduction for your donation, so be ure you retain it for when tax season rolls around.

  11. The engine is having issues
  12. Is your engine overheating, performing poorly, or having other problems? Engine repair is one of the most difficult and expensive repairs cars may require. Spare yourself the hassle and money by donating your car. You will eliminate the problem while making a difference in the world.


Now that you know how car donation works, hopefully, the process seems a less daunting. Surprisingly, the car donation process is much easier than it may seem. These five simple steps cover the basics of everything you need to know when pursuing a car donation. Donating a car is certainly easier than selling it on your own in a private sale or haggling with a dealership to earn a worthwhile price for the vehicle. If you are ready to begin the process, you can search for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on