Are There Grants to Help Low-Income People Purchase Cars In Missouri?

Are There Grants to Help Low-Income People Purchase Cars In Missouri?
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A car is necessary for the average person in Missouri. Even if you don’t use it to go to work, you may need it to transport a disabled member of your household or your children. You may also require a vehicle to earn income. But unfortunately, cars don’t come cheap.

A typical used car now costs about ​$29,000 while a new vehicle is just over ​$47,000. That kind of price may not be an issue for high-income earners. But when you have limited financial resources and can only afford low-income cars, such prices tend toward the outrageous.

Therefore, if you can take advantage of free cars government assistance programs, you should. The question is: are they available to you?

If you are self-employed and you purchased a vehicle for business, you can eventually deduct various expenses associated with purchasing and operating the car over time.

Can You Apply for Government Car Assistance in Missouri?

Currently, there is no official government car assistance program in Missouri. The best you can hope for is to claim car-related tax deductions that will hopefully reduce the costs of car purchases significantly.

Suppose you purchase a car in Missouri and you paid sales taxes. You could claim a deduction for those taxes. Based on IRS rules, you can claim local and state income, sales and property tax deductions of up to ​$5,000 when married and filing a separate return, or ​$10,000​ when using another filing status. However, this means itemizing and missing out on your standard deduction.

If you are self-employed and you purchased a vehicle for business, you can eventually deduct various expenses associated with purchasing and operating the car over time.

Grants and Program to Help Low-Income People Buy Cars

Even though you cannot apply for government car assistance, you still have other opportunities available to you if you need low-income cars in your household. Below are some of the programs you can explore and reach out to in Missouri.

1. Working Cars for Working Families

You can put in an application for the Working Cars for Working Families program. The organization fights on behalf of working families for their right to access vehicles at affordable costs. And it provides a list of state nonprofits that may donate a vehicle to enable you to get and keep a job so you can fend for your family. Based on the resources on the list, in Missouri, you can apply for aid in obtaining a vehicle at Project H.O.P.E.

If you are interested in that opportunity, you can reach out to the contact person, ​Denis Rigdon​, at:

Project H.O.P.E.

2740 Chrysler

Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

(573) 335-8708

2. Help Give Hope

Help Give Hope may also enable you to find a suitable low-income vehicle for your needs. The organization will purchase a used car and have its authorized mechanics repair it before handing it over to the lucky recipient.

However, the car has no warranty and Help Give Hope holds the title for ​one year​ in good faith. Also, you will be responsible for paying insurance, maintenance and fulfilling licensing requirements.

To be eligible for the used car, you must have children under the age of 18 living at home or full guardianship of children or adults over 18 who have disabilities. In addition, you demonstrate the ability to maintain the vehicle responsibly and live in Northern Christian, Greene or Western Webster County.

3. 1-800-Charity Cars

The 1-800-Charity Cars program donates vehicles to struggling families. These include the working poor, those living in transitional housing shelters, victims of domestic violence and those transitioning from public assistance to work, among others.

If you need a vehicle, complete an online vehicle request form and include all relevant details, such as your address, employment status, caseworker information, etc. You may be contacted by phone or email if your request for a vehicle is granted.

4. Cars4Christmas

Cars4Christmas is a nonprofit that donates cars to enable participants of the program to get back on their feet and turn their lives around. The goal is to give 20 cars to 20 families per year. If you need a car, you can fill out an application form and hope for the best.

Be sure to complete the right application if you are a veteran. The latter status qualifies you for the Car4Heroes program.

There is no guarantee that when you apply to programs offering low-income cars you will get one. But it never hurts to try. You may be given one, thus changing your life forever. And if you don’t get one, you can always place a request via your local church or ask your family members and friends for help.