MAKING YOUR CAR DONATION EASY!
Nicole Anaya – March 1, 2011
Are you thinking about donating your vehicle to charity? If the answer is yes, let me share some tips with you to make the process smooth and easy. As a Donation Specialist for Cars 4 Causes® for many years, I processed more than 4,300 vehicle donations, so I’ve highlighted below the most important steps you need to know!
1. ARE YOU DONATING TO A REAL CHARITY?
Before you make that call or click on the online donation form, please make sure the charity you are planning to donate to is a 501(C)3 registered non-profit organization qualified to accept vehicle donations. This is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself. By donating to a qualified 501(c)3 non-profit organization, you will ensure that when it comes time to claim your tax deduction you will be able to use it. Cars 4 Causes was the 1st 501(c)3 non-profit organization in America to be approved by the IRS to accept vehicle donations, so you can rest easy when you donate to us.
2. INFORMATION YOU’LL NEED WHEN YOU DONATE.
During the process, whether by phone or an online form it may seem like we need a lot of information. As a donation specialist, it’s our job to get you the highest tax deduction possible and the most money for charity. Therefore, the more information we get from you, the better we can do our job. And while we are grateful that you have chosen to donate your car to us, you will be grateful for all of the intrusive and annoying questions we ask when April 15th rolls around and you have a generous tax deduction as a result.
Here’s the basic information we need:
|● Your name & contact info (phone & email)
● Type of title (pink slip, duplicate title, etc)
● Make, model & year of vehicle
● Proof of ownership (reg card or title)*
● Where your vehicle is located?
● What condition your vehicle is in?
Here’s more information we’d like to have (it will help us evaluate your car donation faster):
|● Current Mileage
● Your VIN # and/or license plate #
● Registration info**
● Are tires inflated?
● Do you have the keys?
● How long it has been sitting?
*A. Title questions are one of the most important things we will ask. They help us verify ownership and vehicle information. In most cases, a lost title may not be a problem. Each situation varies which is why we urge you to call and speak to one of our donation specialist who can help you through this step.
**B. Registration questions are frequently asked to determine if there are fees due by the licensing agency in your state. If the vehicle you want to donate has a registration that is due, it’s best that you register it as non-operational to avoid any back fees you might be charged prior to donating your vehicle.
3. SCHEDULING A PICK-UP
Once we get all your information and accept your donation, one of our tow companies will call you to schedule a pick-up time within 2 business days. If it is an emergency, we can expedite your request and have your vehicle picked up within 24 hours. On the date of tow you will need to give the title (pink slip) and the keys to the tow driver. If you can’t be there at time of tow, you can leave the pink slip and keys under the dashboard. In return, you will receive a pick-up receipt from the tow driver. Once your vehicle is delivered to us, we’ll send you a pick-up confirmation letter with our charity information, your name, date of donation, year, make, and model of your donated vehicle. After your vehicle has been towed away you should call your insurance company and let them know you no longer own the vehicle.
4. RECEIVING YOUR TAX RECEIPT.
The last step in the process is waiting to receive your written acknowledgment letter commonly known as a tax receipt. This tax receipt is to be used for your tax purposes and will be mailed to you after the vehicle has been sold. It normally takes us between 60-90 days to process, evaluate, repair (if necessary) and sell your vehicle. If you plan on claiming a tax deduction and your vehicle sells for more than $500 we will send you your tax receipt along with a form 1098C (to do this however, we will need your social security number). If you don’t plan on claiming your donation as a tax deduction and/or the vehicle sells for less than $500 we will only send you a tax receipt (no social security number will be required).
Donating your vehicle can be a great way to save money on your taxes and help others at the same time. There are many choices out there, but only Cars 4 Causes has the experience and expertise to get you the most our of your vehicle donation. Afterall, we are America’s 1st vehicle donation charity. So take advantage of our 13 years of experience and get the most from your car donation. “It feels good helping others.”
I hope this gives you a better idea of what to expect when donating your vehicle. Please keep in mind that Cars 4 Causes also accept boats, motorcycles and RVs. You may fill out an online donation form or feel free to give us a call at 1-800-488-9949 and a friendly donation specialist will be more than happy to assist you.