Why donating your old junk car might make more sense than selling it

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve got an older car you’re looking to get rid of. If this describes your situation perfectly, then you’re definitely in the right place. We’ve dealt with thousands of junk cars throughout the years, so we’re qualified to give you advice on this particular topic.

You’ve probably done some digging and online research before finding this article, so you know what your options are. Selling your old car is a genuine possibility, but the number of people willing and ready to buy a junk car isn’t that high. What’s more, you probably won’t even get half what you’re expecting to get because they’ll be looking to fix it or turn it around and make a profit.

Parting it out and selling each individual component makes perfect sense, until you realize that you have to spend hours if not days parting the car out and painstakingly advertising and selling every part separately. What’s more, it’ll take weeks to sell most of the parts and you’ll undoubtedly have some leftovers no one wants.

Luckily, there’s a third, perhaps more viable option, and it’s also the one which makes most financial sense. Donating your car to charity will not only help someone less fortunate, but it’ll also add up to a significant tax write-off if you file an itemized tax return.

If you’re still reading and are more interested than you were before, you’ll definitely want to finish reading this article. It’s a complete breakdown of why it makes more sense to donate your car to a charity rather than part it out or sell it, and is a guide on how to donate the car in such a way that you’ll be eligible for a tax write-off.

The financial aspect of donating your car

Before you start looking for charities, you have to think everything through and make sure that this is a good financial move. In order to be able to claim the charitable contribution, you’ll have to file an itemized income tax return before doing anything else. If you don’t itemize the return, you can’t claim the donation as a deduction when you file out your Federal income taxes.

You should also know that only charities with a 501(c)3 tax exempt status with the IRS can help you claim a write-off. Last but not least, find out what the charity plans to do with the car if possible. Depending on whether they sell it, auction it off, or use it for their own purposes, you’ll be able to claim a different amount for the car. If they decide to keep it and use it or give it away, you’ll be able to deduct a larger amount than if they were to auction it off.

Naturally, there are other factors involved, such as the car’s make and model, how old it is, its condition, etc. In any case, a charity that opts to keep the car or give it away is ideal, not because you’ll be getting a larger tax write-off, but because someone else will put that car to good use. If they auction it off, it’ll still be like you donated money to the charity, but the car might get eventually scrapped or parted out.

Finding a charity

With all the information you currently have, you should be able to pick a charity that both fits our requirements and is close to your heart. If you already have a charity in mind then great, but if you still haven’t decided, then don’t sweat it. There are lots of websites which act as charity finders (type charity finder in Google and be amazed), so you’ll be able to pick one out in no time.

We strongly recommend finding and donating to a charity that means or represents something to you. It always feels better to help and donate to something that’s close to our heart rather than a random charity that just so happened to fit the criteria. Still, remember to be sensible and make sure the charity has a 501(c)3 tax exempt status.

Getting the car to the charity

Here’s where things might get more challenging, as you actually have to transport the car to the charity yourself. If the car runs and drives, and you can get it there safely by driving it, then by all means, go for it. If the car doesn’t drive as it should or it doesn’t drive at all, then don’t attempt to fix it if it isn’t feasible. Instead, give us a call and we’ll gladly help you out.

Don’t forget the receipt

So, let’s recap for a moment. After finding a charity and transporting the car over to them, the hard work is mostly over. All that’s left now is to get a receipt as evidence of the donation. This is, without a doubt, the most important step in this entire process, because if you forget to get a receipt, it’s as though you haven’t donated the car at all. The entire thing will be for nothing.


Donating a car has its benefits, and they’re two-fold. For starters, you’ll be helping someone less fortunate than yourself out, or you’ll be raising money for the charity if they decide to auction it off. Second, you’ll get a nice cash ‘income’ through tax deduction, which is never a bad thing. Inadvertently, you might be giving your old junk car a second chance at life. So, if you’re still on the fence about donating your old car, we have just one advice: do it!