Anyone out there donate an old car to charity over selling or junking it recently?
I am curious to hear about your experiences with this, I am considering it for the kids' car.
Yeah, Juro -
My wife's old car (A red sports car, imported model) which I got her for her 50th b'day (It was her dream for years, as she dragged kids around in a sta. wagon - seemed like "forever"). It was about 10 years old, and had about 120 K mi. on it. It was in good condition, but starting to show signs of age, and I was worried about its reliability for her. But we wouldn't have gotten much for Trade-In value on it - you can do better dealing and shopping for a new car with "cash" if you play your cards right.
To make a long story short, we donated it to the Kidney Foundation. They picked it up (on a flatbed), as they are required to do, although I offered to drive it down.
In return, we received a certificate of donation, and could claim Book Value as part of our Charitable Contributions on our taxes.
That's about the sum of it.
So, in order to get benefit, you need to:
1. fill out the Long Form (Form 1040);
2. Have the income and claim itemized deductions that "fits" the code,
3. Fill out "itemized deductions"
4. Etc. (per tax regulations).
07-20-2003, 11:32 AM
My understanding of this is a little different.
You can only technically claim what the car actually sold for. Most of the time the companys that handle the auto and boat donations will want to sell the vehicle ASAP and this means they will sell under the blue book - significantly less than if you sell it yourself. After they sell it they take a good size chunk of the cash for a "handling" fee and what is left goes to the charitable organization.
Overall you and the charity are better off if you sell the car yourself and then make a cash donation. If you are worried about how much of a pain it is to sell the car just price it cheap and it will go quick. In that scenerio you end up the same as if you had donated the car itself but the charity comes out ahead.
Actually, this happened quite a few years ago, so the details are somewhat "fuzzy" in my mind. The forms that they distributed in receipt of the car specified the EXACT methodology to follow, though.
07-21-2003, 10:06 AM
Did this with tha Kidney Foundation, piece of cake. In retrospect, it would have been better all around to sell the car and donate the money. But it would have had to be an "as is" sale, etc. and it's such a hassle to sell a used car you know?
07-21-2003, 12:10 PM
I gave my commuter car to my girlfriend who lives with me. Her car was running well, but not worth alot. Figured I would donate it to a cause (seems that if you try to give someone a car directly, they think there's something attached, had a REALLY bad experience trying to do that). Well, I went through charity after charity. Guess what I heard? "Not worth us coming to get it unless you want to pay the tow truck fee". ?????????? A running car and they don't want it because it's not worth their time. That's when I found out that even the charities for the homeless or underpriveledged don't give them to those they service. So am now stuck with a car. May put up for free. Problem is, we have had people borrow the car and somehow fried the electronics (I have an idea what they did, but rebuilt most of it). Now just going to take it to a scrap yard. But would've been a great car. I called about 20 different agencies. Not ONE would take it. Even the places that said "Running or not".