Donating your car, truck, RV, or other vehicle is a great way to get rid of it, especially if it is not working. You may get a tax break and you'll benefit a charity. Some may even take junker cars, which can have value in the selling of the materials for recycling.
However if you have a car to donate, you want to know that the proceeds will really be helping a charity. Car donation companies do not always represent themselves as accurately as they should. Car donation is actually big business and vehicle donation companies spend a lot of resources soliciting for car donations to turn a profit. Most are usually independent for profit companies that donated a portion of their profits to local or national charities. They are not usually nonprofit charities.
Some companies accepting a car for donation do a great service for charities by bringing in much need funds. This funds come from a source that the charity would not have the resources to otherwise tap into. But a few of the car donation companies are a little less honest about how helpful their services are for charitable organizations. Before sending your used car, working or not, to a car donation center, research the company first.
Where Does the Donation Go?
Ask the car donation center for a list of charities they support. Ask to see documentation of past donations to these charities.
Confirm the Donation
Call the charities on the list to confirm that they did indeed receive a donation from the car donation center you are considering or if they have ever received any donation from that car donation company. Feel free to ask if the donation was significant and if the charity regularly receives donations from that particular business. If the charity has never heard of this program, take that as a red flag and reconsider giving your car for a donation through that vehicle donation company.
Investigate the car donation center through the Better Business Bureau. Even companies that are not members will have complaints on file if there are any to report.
Choose Your Charity
Request that the car donation center give the donated money from your car to a specific charity. As long as your charity is a nonprofit organization, your request should be easily fulfilled. Ask the company how much money they will be sending to that charity from your car. You can call the charity in a few weeks to confirm the donation was in fact received.