How to Donate a Totaled Car

How to Donate a Totaled Car
••• Coche accidentado image by quicolopez from

Dealing with a totaled car can be a hassle. If it doesn’t work, is unfixable or you can’t sell it, consider donating it. Even if it is totaled, many places that accept car donations will still accept it. Depending on its condition, it can either be sold at auction or its parts can be sold separately.

Contact a local charity, directly, to which you wish to donate. Ask if they accept totaled cars. Some charities that accept used cars will also accept totaled cars, since they may still be able to make some money off it. When you donate to a charity directly, they usually receive more money than when you use a middleman organization.

Use a middleman service. Contact a national company such as Cars 4 Charities or Donate a Car 2 Charity. Both organizations operate nationwide, in most states, and will have a local towing agency pick up the car free of charge. Donate a Car 2 Charity accepts totaled cars, and Cars 4 Charities accepts some totaled cars, depending on a variety of factors. Parts, for example, can’t be missing, and all of the tires have to be inflated. Fill out an online car donation on either website, and you will be contacted shortly. Cars 4 Charities requires either a title or a transferable registration for the car. Donate a Car 2 Charity does not require a title. With Cars 4 Charities you will be able to choose, from a list of charities, where the proceeds from the sale of the car of car parts go. Donate a Car 2 Charity donates all of its proceeds to a Christian charity called Activated Ministries.

Deduct the car on your taxes. If you want a deduction, you’ll have to file an itemized return and the organization you donate to will need to be a qualified non-profit. To check to see if the organization is qualified, search Publication 78, a list of charities on the IRS website.


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  • Only deduct the car’s fair market value. This amount is not simply how a used car pricing guide, such as Kelly Blue Book, lists the car. Fair market value takes the condition of the car into account. Claiming a higher value on a tax deduction could lead to an investigation by the IRS