Jun 22

How would you like to receive a donated car? According to the latest statistics, thousands of cars are donated each year in the United States alone. There are people all across the country, from all walks of life, who donate old cars to charities—both running and inoperable—to receive a tax deduction at the end of the year, and some who simply give to those less fortunate out of the goodness of their heart. Regardless of the reason and how they obtained them, charities are responsible for thousands of car giveaways each year, and if you qualify, you too could be the recipient of one of these automobiles.

How to Receive a Donated Car: The Steps

The first step in receiving a donated car is to take a good look at your current situation to see if you qualify. Most charities restrict their donations to individuals and families who are in desperate need of a car, are down on their luck and/or who are unable to purchase a car on their own due to their present financial condition. Some of the characteristics or situations that charities look for in a qualified car donation candidate include the following:

• Victims of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, fire or flood. Special funds are usually set up by some of the major charities to purchase vehicles and other necessities to help the victims of a natural disaster in times of emergency.
• People with disabilities or medical issues that make work difficult or impossible.
• Military families who are struggling while one or both of the parents are off fighting in a foreign war.
• Impoverished families living in transitional housing.
• Recovering addicts and their families.
• General hardship families in which one or both parents have lost their job due to unforeseen economic circumstances

Once you’ve determined that you qualify for a charity’s car donation program, you’ll want to contact them with regards to their application process. A written application will usually be required, and since these programs are in very high demand, you can usually expect a moderate to very long waiting period. If you don’t know of any car donation programs, a simple internet search for your area will usually turn up quite a few results. If you receive food stamps or other government assistance, contact your caseworker for help.

Many of the larger charitable organizations (Volunteers of America, Red Cross, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, etc.) will usually have online applications which will save you a trip to the nearest center. If an application is not available online, or an application in your native language is not available, contact the organization and see if they can help.

To receive a donated car you will definitely have to “jump through some hoops”—standing in line, filling out a lengthy application, etc.—but if you are persistent and you don’t mind waiting on all the “red tape,” to be addressed, you’ll probably find that qualified individuals have a fairly good shot at receiving one. Just be patient and wait your turn and eventually your ship (or car) will eventually come in.