Donate a Classic Car to Charity
There may be some debate about what classifies a car as classic, antique, or vintage – more on that below. But one thing is for certain, donating a classic car to charity is a great way for an older car to make a big impact here and now, in the present day.
Where you donate your classic car is an important consideration! To make the biggest charitable impact, and to qualify for the largest possible tax deduction, donors should choose a car-donation agency wisely.
How do I choose where to donate my classic car?
If you have looked at Google, then you know there are a lot of options. What may not be obvious is what they all do, and who benefits from your donated car. Some donors prefer to choose a local organization that is focused on serving their local community. This keeps your impact local, and you may even see your donated car out on the road.
Choose a Certified Nonprofit
First and foremost, you will want to ensure you donate to a certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. You can verify this with the IRS or Secretary of State. Here’s a link to the IRS listing for the parent company of Good News Garage, Ascentria Care Alliance. Verifying that the organization is a nonprofit will ensure that your donation is tax-deductible.
What’s Their Mission?
Investigate the mission and charitable work of the organization you are considering. Who is benefiting from your donation? This should be obvious on the organization’s website; if it’s not, then this could be a red flag. Car donations are a generous gift that should be made with care!
Towing and Pick-Up
Most donation organizations will provide free pick-up or towing. This is a standard service. If you are able to drop the car off for the charity, then it may save them money that would be spent on towing.
After the donation is processed, a car donor should receive the necessary tax paperwork needed to claim a tax deduction. In some cases, the charity will need your social security number for tax purposes. Car donations are particularly beneficial for individuals who itemize their tax deductions instead of claiming the standard deduction.
What do I need to donate a classic car?
To donate a classic, antique and vintage car to charity, all that’s typically needed is a bill of sale – and the keys! A title is not necessary when donating a car over 15 years in age. It is important that there are no liens against the car from a lender.
Check out our donation FAQs for more information about the donation process.
How do donated classic cars help charities?
A charity can benefit from the donation of a classic car in different ways. There are typically two paths a donated classic car will follow when it’s donated to a charity.
- Sale at Auction – In most cases, the charity will sell the donated classic car at an auction, either in-person or online. The nonprofit then uses the proceeds to fund its charitable programs.
Donations of luxury or high-valued classic and antique vehicles are very useful to us at Good News Garage. We will not be able to award a donated luxury or classic vehicle to a neighbor in need due to the high cost of maintaining these types of vehicles. However, the proceeds from its sale help us pay for repairs and parts for the vehicles that are awarded to families in need.
Sold After Being Improved – Sometimes, a charity may make significant improvements to a donated classic car in order to increase its selling price and financial impact. Good News Garage was the recipient of a donated 1979 MGB which was restored and then sold at the Owl’s Head auction in Maine for $13,500. By selling these cars at an auction dedicated to classic and antique cars, there is a greater chance of finding interested bidders and obtaining the highest possible selling price. This means more money for the charity, a bigger impact, and a higher tax deduction for the donor!
- Intervening Use – Another potential way the charity can utilize a classic car donation is by using it for business purposes, which is called intervening use. For example, Good News Garage’s van-shuttle program, Ready to Go, uses donated minivans to bring people to work and school. A classic car may be used by the charity to participate in parades, car shows, and other events that help promote the charity. Good News Garage has a donated 1965 Chevy Panel Van that travels to events to help us spread the word about our nonprofit and encourage others to donate their vehicles.
Is my car a classic, antique, or vintage?
There are specific criteria that qualify a car as classic, antique, or vintage. While this precise classification may be important for insurance purposes, it’s not necessary to know the exact classification for donation purposes.
Ready to Pass Your Keys?
We know that your beloved classic, antique, or specialty vehicle means a lot to you. Donating a classic car is a great way to continue your car’s legacy, place it with a new owner who will love it as much as you, earn a tax deduction, and make a big community impact. It’s a win-win-win for car enthusiasts!
Visit our online donation form to make a life-changing donation in just minutes!