Donating Your Vehicle? Four Things You Should Do Before You Donate

23 July 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Donating a vehicle can be a great benefit for your favorite charity and for your tax returns, but there are a few things you should do before donating your vehicle. Use this list to help prepare before you give away a car or truck.

Locate The Title

Vehicles without proper titles can still be donated, but the charity won't be able to drive your car or sell it to a new buyer without the correct title. If you can't find the title, the charity may still be able to take your car, but it will likely be sold for scrap. Be sure to tell the charity in advance if you don't have a proper title. The organization may choose to accept the vehicle, or it may pass on your donation. In the event that your car doesn't have a title and the charity declines your donation, consider selling it for scrap on your own and donating the money. You can also donate the car to a local trade school that needs cars for teaching purposes.

Gather The Proper Tax Documents

You will need to document your donation on the proper tax forms so you can take a deduction when tax time rolls around. The rules and regulations surrounding vehicle donation vary depending on the fair market value of your vehicle, but you can find both the forms and the rules on the Internal Revenue Service's website. This documentation will be needed if you claim a deduction on your annual tax return.

Clean The Vehicle

Washing and vacuuming the vehicle is a nice thing you can do for the charity, but cleaning out your car or truck will also help to make sure that you don't leave anything important behind. Check under the seats, in the center console and in the glove compartment for any items you might need to take with you, and make sure that any spare tire or jack that came with the vehicle is still in the trunk. Once everything is cleared out of the vehicle, it is ready to donate.

Make Arrangements For Pickup

Some charities will pick up your vehicle for you, which is a big plus if your car no longer runs. Schedule a time for the vehicle to be retrieved, and make sure you have enough time during the visit to go over all of the paperwork, sign over the title and get any additional information you might need for your tax forms. If you have multiple sets of keys for the car, have them all handy to give to the driver picking up your car.

Use these four steps to prep your car for donation. With just a bit of work, your car will be ready to go to work for the charity of your choice. For more information on vehicle donation, contact places like Newgate School.