Vehicle Donation FAQ's
Learn how simple a Vehicle Donation to Cars with Causes is!
Vehicle Donation FAQs - Cars, Boats, Trucks, Aircraft +
Making a vehicle donation to Cars with Causes is easy! The first step is to call us toll free at 888-228-7320 or fill out one of our vehicle donation forms related to the type of vehicle you want to donate. The vehicle donation types we accept include: Car Donations, Boats, Motorcycles, Trucks, Aircraft, Collector Cars, RV’s, Construction Equipment, Yachts and Off Road Vehicles.
Our friendly volunteers will walk you through the donation process and assist with scheduling your free vehicle pickup. At the time of pickup, you will be left with a temporary donation receipt/acknowledgement, and after the vehicle has been processed, our office will issue you an IRS form 1098c mailed to the address you provided.
Why donate your vehicle to Cars with Causes 501c3 nonprofit charity?
- Vehicle donation is a quick easy process, and the towing is free
- Vehicle donations are tax deductible, and could reduce your tax liability when taxes are itemized
- Donating your vehicle allows you to skip the hassles associated with selling a car to a private party, such as advertising/craigslist listing fees, paying for insurance on a vehicle you are no longer driving, and any repairs that are required for the car to pass emissions testing prior to transferring ownership
- Vehicle donation allows you to absolve yourself of costs associated with car ownership, such as insurance, repairs, parking/storage fees, and yearly registration
- Donating your vehicle can free up space in your garage, parking space, or eliminate the need to pay for third party storage
- Donating a running vehicle often allows us to gift the vehicle to a family/individual in need that otherwise could not afford to purchase their own. Not only does this tremendously help others, but also provides you with the largest tax deduction allowed by the IRS.
- Donating a non-running vehicle or a vehicle in need of repairs still allows us to raise funds for numerous programs that directly aid those in need, while providing free pickup for you
We accept all types of vehicles! While the most common vehicles donated are cars, trucks, and SUVs (running or not), we don’t stop there. We accept classic cars, motorcycles, dirt bikes, boats, yachts, jet skis, campers, off-road vehicles, ATVs, RVs, aircraft, heavy equipment, construction equipment, farm equipment, or anything else with a motor, including standalone motors. If you would like to make a donation of any of these items, please complete our vehicle donation form, or call us 7 days a week at 888-228-7320 to speak with one of our volunteers about the vehicle that you have.
Yes! We receive requests from other non-profit charities who specifically are in need of camping trailers or other vehicle types to further their own charitable causes. For vehicle donations that are not able to be gifted to these partner charities, Cars with Causes acts as a funding program for Giving Center, providing much needed assistance to families and individuals in need. Fill out the vehicle donation form to get started, or call us at 888-228-7320 to see how your donation can benefit others.
Yes, all donations made to Car with Causes are tax deductible. Please refer to our extensive Tax Benefits page for tax related questions.
Donated vehicles are either gifted to others in need, or sold as a funding source for Giving Center, who provides the less fortunate with aid in the form of financial assistance, endowments, grants, educational assistance and more.
Vehicles that are able to be gifted to those in need are typically donated and received by Cars with Causes in good running condition, or with only minor repairs necessary. We have an application on our website to apply for gifted vehicles, and all applications are screened and selected by our Board of Directors based on the location and the donations gifted to us. By gifting the donated vehicle, this allows the donor to take the maximum tax deduction allowed by the IRS, as no sale is taking place. If you have a vehicle in good mechanical and cosmetic condition, please submit through our car donation form or contact us at 888-228-7320 to see if your vehicle donation would qualify to be gifted to someone in need.
The alternative is that your vehicle is sold within the used car market to raise funding, which in turn allows us to continue helping others across the United States. Cars with Causes utilizes a large network of industry professionals in order to maximize the sales price of the donated vehicle, which in turn will maximize your allowed tax deduction.
After you submit your vehicle donation through one of our online forms, or provide all vehicle information to our Cars with Causes volunteers at 888-228-7320, we will assign your car donation to one of our volunteers/towing company/vendor for processing. Typically they will reach out to you with a few different date and time windows for you to select from. Pickups usually occur within just a few days, but can take up to two weeks during high volume donation times.
In order to donate your vehicle to Cars with Causes, you will need a current and clear title as issued by the Department of Transportation/Motor Vehicles, listed with your name as the legal owner. Any lien holder listed on the title must be cleared/released prior to donation. If you lost the title, some states will allow you to transfer ownership using an Application for Duplicate Title, but this law varies by state. You may have to request and receive a duplicate title prior to donation. If you need assistance on how to replace a lost title, please reach out to Cars with Causes at 888-228-7320.
In most States, you will need a free and clear title in hand in order to legally transfer ownership of the vehicle, whether or not the car is being gifted to charity or sold private party. If you inherited the vehicle but it has not been transferred to your name, we can accept the donation on behalf of the trust or deceased person. If you are looking to receive the deduction for yourself, you will need to have the title transferred, typically using a death certificate.
Since laws vary by State, please refer to your State Department of Motor Vehicles/Transportation for clear instructions on what is needed. If you believe you may have any title issues, please call us at 888-228-7320 and let us know what the issue might be. Our representatives have heard it all, and can often provide guidance on how to clear the issues so the vehicle can be donated.
There is no cost to make a vehicle donation. All expenses incurred to tow and process the vehicle donation are paid for by Giving Center and deducted from the gross sales price.
After we have all necessary information regarding the vehicle, including whether it’s drivable and what repairs are needed, we will assign it to a licensed towing company, vendor, or volunteer of Cars with Causes to pick up the car at your convenience. The vehicle will be towed to a location either for inspection/repairs so that we can gift it out, or to a location that will list and sell the car. Towing the donated car is always completely free to you!
Pickup times can vary based on your location, as well as the vehicle condition. Oftentimes Cars with Causes is able to pick up vehicles within 1-2 business days after receiving the online form submission, but there are instances when this timeline could be pushed back. The more flexible you are with scheduling, the quicker we can have your vehicle picked up. If you have any type of pickup restraints or deadlines, please let our representatives know on the phone, or include that information in the “comments” section of the donation form. We will do our best to accommodate requests, and can let you know quickly if we are able to pick up your vehicle donation within the timeframe you require.
YES! Cars with Causes operates in all 50 States and can accommodate vehicle donation pickups in almost every area that is accessible for a tow truck. We operate in the rural parts of Alaska, as well as all islands of Hawaii. If you were hoping to make a donation to a different non-profit that does not accommodate pickup in your area, please reach out to us and see if we can help. You can start the donation process 24 hours a day via our online form, or by calling us toll free at 888-228-7320 with all vehicle information, and one of our representatives can take your information by phone.
Registration requirements vary by state. Please call us at 888-228-7320 and speak with one of our Cars with Causes representatives, who can confirm the documents that are needed based on the state that you are located in.
Nope! Even if your state does require a smog certificate or a safety inspection, you can make a vehicle donation to Cars with Causes without having these done first. Cars with Causes will take care of the inspections after donation.
No, the car does not need to be running in order to donate it! Cars with Causes accepts vehicles in virtually any condition, running or not. In most cases, as long as the tow truck can access and tow the vehicle, and you are the registered legal owner, we are able to accept it as a donation.
Yes! Sometimes our donors do not know if the car runs or not, because they no longer use their vacation home or walk down to the shop where it is stored. Cars with Causes can take the limited information that you have and oftentimes still accept the vehicle donation as long as it’s accessible and you have (or can obtain) the required paperwork to legally transfer ownership.
In most cases, vehicles need to be intact, even if the engine is not working. However, all vehicles are evaluated on a case by case basis. Cars with Causes takes on many classic cars, kit cars, and other project vehicles that do not have engines. Please call us and speak to one of our representatives about your specific vehicle and situation, to see if we can work it out.
Yes, Cars with Causes accepts classic cars in all stages of restoration. Whether you have been holding onto a Model T for years and never got around to it, or you finished fully restoring a 1969 Dodge Charger and are moving on to your next project, oftentimes the tax deduction can be higher than what you can sell it for to a private party.
Yes! Supercars are a great way for our charity to not only raise funds, but also awareness about Cars with Causes in general. High value donations such as supercars and yachts are typically retained by the charity for a period of 36 months and entered into car shows, parades, or other awareness opportunities. This ensures that you receive the maximum tax benefit allowed by law, while allowing our charity to promote the donation until it is ultimately sold to raise funding.
Yes, Cars with Causes accepts all types of construction equipment such as excavators, skid steers, boom lifts, scissor lifts, bulldozers, forklifts, loaders, and scrapers. Simply fill out the heavy equipment donation form and let us know the year, make, model, condition, and how many hours are on the equipment. It is helpful if you take a photo of the serial plate as well, so we can pull any dealer history that it may have.
Yes, we accept virtually all types of ag equipment and tractors such as John Deere, New Holland, Kubota, and Case IH. We accept both compact equipment for home users as well as large frame tractors, balers, and sprayers. Cars with Causes also accepts antique farm equipment! If you are looking to donate farm equipment, please submit the heavy equipment donation form and one of our representatives will reach out to you shortly.
Vehicle donations to Cars with Causes need to be accessible for the tow driver to reach. This typically means the car or boat is located on the street or driveway, without obstructions from other cars, vegetation, or other items. In most cases, the tow truck driver is prohibited from entering structures such as garages or carports, or places without direct access such as backyards or back alleyways. If you have questions about accessibility, please reach out to our organization. We do our best to support the situation you are in, but will need as much information as possible so we can contract with the correct person to get the job done.
In general, the vehicle needs to be openly accessible for safe towing. However, Cars with Causes receives most of our classic car donations in this exact situation. If you have a vehicle that is not running and is within an enclosed space, please let us know that upfront so that we can plan appropriately. For higher end vehicles, we will transport using an enclosed trailer to protect the vehicle from any damage.
Unfortunately, we see this too often. Simply purchasing the property where the vehicles are located does not give you legal ownership of the car/boat. You would need to file a lien in order to gain legal ownership of the car/boat, and then once you are granted title is when you become the legal owner. Without having legal ownership, you cannot donate abandoned vehicles.
Yes, however this is determined on a case by cases basis. Salvage title vehicles have typically been inspected and approved to be repaired and put back on the road without compromising safety. For junk titles, the inspector has deemed that the damage is too extensive for the vehicle to be safely repaired, so the vehicle can only be sold for parts. Depending on your location, the type of vehicle you have, and the age of the vehicle, Cars with Causes can often still accept salvage and even junk titled vehicles for donation. Please reach out to us using the online form, or by phone at 888-228-7320 to see how we can help.
Yes! There are two different options for those who are not able to meet with our drivers. The first option is to mail Cars with Causes the signed title and keys prior to pick up, so that we can provide the keys to the tow driver to safely load onto the truck on the day of pickup. The second option is to have a designated contact person to assist you in facilitating the donation instead of handling the donation remotely. In both instances, please remember to have all your personal belongings removed from the vehicle prior to donating.
After you submit our initial online form to Cars with Causes, one of our representatives will be calling you to gather any additional details needed and provide the name and contact information for the local volunteer or tow company that has been assigned for your pickup. We are able to contact you by phone, text, or email, so please let us know your preferred method of contact.
Please remove all personal belongings from the vehicle prior to the day of pick up. Ensure the vehicle has clear access by the tow driver, and all 4 tires are inflated when possible. Please have the title ready to be signed over, and all copies of the vehicle keys.
Some states do require that the license plates are removed at the time of transfer, as they are registered to the individual and not the vehicle. If your state requires you to remove the plates, please do so prior to the tow truck driver arriving.
Yes! We appreciate when our donors are looking to maximize funding for our charity. When you submit the online form, please let us know that you are willing to drop off the vehicle and one of our representatives will reach out to you with drop off locations in your area.
A vehicle title is legal documentation on who owns the vehicle. Without a title, you are unable to prove that you are the legal owner. A title is issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or Department of Transportation (DOT) depending on your state, at the time a vehicle is sold. If you purchased the vehicle from a private party, you are responsible for legally transferring ownership of the vehicle to your name. If the vehicle was financed, the paperwork is typically filed by the bank or loan originator and the lender will hold the title as the lien holder until the vehicle has been paid in full. The vehicle needs to be titled in your name with no liens in order for the vehicle to be donated.
Please have the title signed when the tow truck driver arrives. If you have questions on where to sign or what parts to fill out, you can always contact our office or the tow office prior to pick up and they can guide you through this process.
This depends on your state. Currently, notarization is a requirement for the following states: Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming. Every year brings new legislation and this is subject to change, so please visit your Department of Motor Vehicles/Transportation and search for title transfer requirements.
Titles will either have the phrases “and”, “or” or “and/or” for legal owners to be listed. If the title is labeled as “and” between the names of the parties/owners, then all parties are required to sign the title.
If there is a lienholder/finance company listed, will be printed on the title and will have a space for the lienholder to sign off once the debt has been paid. If you have the title and there is no signature releasing the lien, please contact the lienholder to have this completed.
After your vehicle donation has been picked up, it is your legal responsibility to notify the State that you are no longer the owner. This releases you of any liability associated with the vehicle, and cannot be completed by the charity or the towing vendor.
You can cancel your insurance on the vehicle once the vehicle has been picked up, the state has been notified that you no longer own the vehicle (and the plates have been removed in states that require this), and you have provided the signed title to our charity or vendor for processing. Once all three of these have been met, please cancel any insurance held on the vehicle.
After the title has been signed over and the vehicle has been picked up, you are no longer the legal owner. This absolves you from any liability in the rare instance of any traffic collision that could occur during towing. Please note, this does not release you from any fines or fees that are related to your vehicle prior to making the donation.
This answer is different for every State. If you have questions on how to transfer your title, please ask the local volunteer/tow company assigned to handle your vehicle. You can also refer to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles/Transportation to see what is required.
You can call us 7 days a week to speak with one of our representatives and receive an update. Please call us at 888-228-7320
Once your vehicle sells, our Vehicle Donor Support Team will either email and/or mail a thank-you letter on behalf of the nonprofit receiving your donation, which serves as a copy of your tax receipt. Please note that if your vehicle sells for more than $500 and your tax identification number has been provided, an IRS Form 1098-C, ‘Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes’, will be mailed to you within 30 days of the sale stating the amount of gross proceeds received from your donation.
Repairs to vehicles occur on a case by case basis. We ask that you be as honest as possible when reporting the condition of the vehicle so we can make informed decisions on how to process it. In instances where only minor repairs are needed, we are often able to gift these vehicles out to needy families. In the event of major engine overhauls or body damage, it’s typically cost prohibitive to fix the vehicle prior to listing it for sale.
Cars with Causes does everything possible to balance selling the vehicle in a timely fashion as required by the IRS, while being a responsible steward for our donors to ensure the highest gross proceeds amount. Generally, this process ranges from 2-12 weeks depending on location, repairs that are needed prior to sale, and the type of vehicle that is being donated.
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We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give..
Cars with Causes was started as a funding project for Giving Center (EIN# 46-1883892), an IRS-approved 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that operates nationwide. Giving Center was created to help bridge the gap between those in the community who have the means and wish to help, with those who are in dire need of a helping hand and a little grace. We have a team of professional transporters and in house volunteers with both the technical and legal experience to assist you in the donation of any type vehicle.