basics

If you want to make a donation to a favorite charity and do not want to give cash, there is an alternative. Donate a motor vehicle. Assuming the charity is one approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), then there are many reasons it makes sense to sign over that title to the charity.

One good reason involves a car that is in good shape. The charity can keep the car and use it for its own purposes. That could involve allowing an employee to drive it while soliciting or picking up donations. There are endless uses for the charity and it will save cash as the charity will not have to purchase another vehicle. They can use its cash for the more pressing problems the charity serves. Keep in mind that “good shape” just means that it works and is drivable and not that you shined it up with car wax and the like before donating it.

A second reason is taking a tax deduction. There are a couple of problems with this reason. The first and foremost is the fact that the donor must itemize deductions. If a person does not itemize, then the deduction cannot be taken. If a person has enough deductions without the automobile deduction, then it is a matter of obtaining a fair market value that can be justified to the IRS. Another possibility is a person with almost enough deductions who needs one more deduction so all their deductions are not lost. Donate a vehicle to get over the top.

Sometimes cars start to break down and the costs of repairs are not justified. In other words, it is smarter to get another vehicle rather than repairing the old one. In that case, donation makes perfect sense. Charities generally have the ways and means to dispose of donated vehicles so the repairs do not matter.

People use their old cars as trade when buying another vehicle. Sometimes though the value of the trade is just not worth much because the car dealer does not want the old car. That is the perfect time and reason to donate the car to charity.

Another reason to donate to charity is the ease of getting rid of the vehicle. No placing ads in the paper or online in an attempt to sell. No worry about buyers complaining about the vehicle after the sale. No arguing with car salesmen about the trade value. Just call the charity and they will handle all the details. Just tell them you want to donate a vehicle and your worries are over. It is just like cleaning out the closet and taking old clothes to a charity.

There is great value in feeling good about an action. When a vehicle is donated to a charity it is just like writing a check. The charity will sell the vehicle and get cash. The donor has helped the cause, no matter what it is. Charities want vehicles and many times run public service announcements asking for cars, especially at the end of the calendar year when donors are looking for tax deductions.

There are certainly more reasons to donate but just remember the best reason is helping the charity.