3 Questions To Ask When Donating A Car So The Process Goes Smoothly

Donating a car is both good for the cause you give your car to and good for your wallet, as you're able to write the value of the vehicle off on your taxes. Donating a car is also very easy -- as long as you ask a few questions first. If you're thinking about donating a car you own, ask the organization you're giving the car to these questions so that the process will go smoothly.

Will You Come and Pick Up the Car?

Many organizations that accept car donations will come and take the car away for you. They often have a tow truck tow it from your location to theirs, as they don't always know whether the car's in a drivable condition.

While this is a common practice, you'll want to confirm that the organization you're giving the car to will come and get it. Not only does it make donating the car more convenient for you, but it also ensures that you won't have to drive a potentially run-down car to the organization. 

When making sure the organization will come and get the car you're donating, ask when they'll be able to pick it up. You'll have to make it easily accessible on the day it's set to be picked up, and you'll want to make sure the car isn't sitting in your driveway or yard for too long.

How Will the Car Be Used?

Organizations that accept car donations use donated cars in a variety of ways. An organization might do any of the following with the car you donate:

  • Put the car in service (if it's running well)
  • Sell or auction the car for funds
  • Use the car to teach mechanic classes (if the organization has a trade school program)

Finding out how your car will be used may affect what organization you want to give the car to. For instance, you might decide to give it to an organization that will use the car in service rather than one that will sell it for funds. Talk with an organization, like Action Donation Services, for more information.

How Will a Receipt Be Provided?

You'll want a receipt for your donation so you can write the donation off on your taxes. Without a receipt, you'll have a hard time proving you donated the car if you're audited by the IRS.

Find out how an organization will give you a receipt. It might be given to you in person, mailed to you, or sent to your email. You'll need to know so that the receipt isn't accidentally overlooked and lost.