? Don’t Donate a Car That’s More Trouble Than it’s Worth
As tempting as it may be, some donated cars simply aren’t worth giving away to even the best causes. Partly, this is because the charity you’ve chosen may be outsourcing their car donation services to a third-party organization that is run as a for-profit corporation and will take their overhead regardless.
Sometimes this means that a donated car can actually cost the charity money instead of earning it. When the US General Accounting Office submitted a comprehensive report on donated cars and other vehicles in late 2003, it was found that as many as 5% of the donated cars were actually a liability for the charities concerned.
When asked why they would take such donated cars, most answered that they were more interested in cultivating a culture of donation rather than turning anyone away. Of course, if they handled the donated car themselves, rather than letting a middle-man get a piece of the action, there would almost always be a slight profit, but that’s simply not how a majority of charitable organizations that are able to take in your donated car works.
Indeed, it is typically only the charities and non-profit organizations (NPOs) that have a mission of providing automobiles for charitable use who are actually running their own shops to handle donated cars. Also, these outfits tend to be a bit pickier about the sort of donated cars they deal with, as a general rule. Often they preferentially choose to work on donated cars that will have a high resale value when they’re running again or need minimal repairs to become useful to a needy family or individual.
Knowing all that, consider what your car is actually worth. Is everything wrong with it at the same time? Can you name a single part on it that’s really worth more than $100 (regardless of what you paid for it at the time. Be honest with yourself and fairly assess before you donate. A car that is unlikely to be sold for as much as the tow truck charge isn’t any kind of gift at all.
This is especially true if the vehicle in question isn’t running and is currently residing in a very rural location. Think about how much it cost the last time you needed a tow truck and take that into your considerations of whether you should donate a car that has minimal scrap or parts value.
On the other hand, if the potentially donated car is quite old and collectible, even if it’s in terrible shape, some of the components might be very valuable if they’re impossible to find anymore. Look around online and see what some of the parts you know are intact are worth on the open market. You may be surprised how much even a hood ornament in good shape can go for, even if you can see daylight through the floor.
Another thing to take into consideration is how committed you are to donate. Cars that may be problematic to sell as a whole are sometimes able to be parted out and sold for greater value. If you’re handy with online auctions as well as mechanics, this might be a great way for you to make the money that you then donate as a cash gift to the charity of your choice. Everyone takes cash, and you’re still able to write that off on your taxes assuming you’re prepared to file itemized deductions with your Form 1040.
There are always options, even in a donated car is more trouble than it’s worth for your favorite charity. In the end, your own personal level of commitment to the well-being of the NPO in question is paramount. If you don’t really care that much and just want it hauled away, there are services that will give you rewards such as tickets or vouchers for vacation packages for the privilege of picking up your vehicle for recycling. Even this type of donated car, though not eligible for a tax deduction, is still one less car that will be crushed and sent to a landfill.
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Auto Diesel/27_donate car.txt