What’s your plan when “old reliable” is no longer so reliable? Or when you’re just ready for a newer set of wheels? For most people, the immediate answer isn’t, “Oh, I’ll donate my car.” Most consider selling first, even if it’s not in very good shape. However, there are a variety of reasons to consider donating a car. Following are five of the most common.
1. When you give your car to a charity, you improve lives.
The transmission on my husband’s Nissan Maxima went kaput a few years ago, and as it had needed several other rather costly repairs prior to that, we decided it was time for another vehicle. So we donated it to a local organization that helps at-risk inner city teens to learn marketable skills. The kids repair the donated vehicles, which are then sold on the open market. The teenagers develop competence and self-confidence, and are much more likely to become productive citizens than jail statistics.
2. The amount is fully deductible.
Whatever ends up being a fair market price for your car, you can fully deduct as a charitable gift for that tax year. What you end up saving in taxes as a result could end up well worth your while. For example…
3. Donating your car might bring you more monetary gain than trading it in.
Depending on the age and make of your vehicle, if you were to try to trade it in when you get your next car you might be offered almost nothing, which is exactly what happened to me when I traded in my fifteen-year-old Chevy Nova after this model was no longer being made.
4. The amount of money required to repair your car may not be worth it.
If your car ends up in a destructive collision (I hope you’re okay!), or simply starts giving up the ghost – as with my husband’s Maxima – you may get more bang for your buck by donating the car instead of paying for repairs.
5. You avoid the hassle of selling it.
Some people just don’t want the hassle of advertising a car for sale, dealing with potential buyer’s potential interrogations, trying to set the right price, and so on. In most cases, you could probably get a lot more money from selling your car than getting a charitable giving tax deduction for it, but for some people the ease of getting rid of the car outweighs any financial loss from choosing to donate.
If you’ve never considered donating your used car, you see that there is good reason to do so. You will make appositive impact on other people’s lives, save yourself hassle and possibly gain a little more money than you may have otherwise. To donate a car is to give of yourself and to grow in the area of generosity. That in and of itself may be reason enough to do it.