How to Get a Used Car from Goodwill

How to Get a Used Car from Goodwill
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Goodwill Industries has an astounding 162 organizations within the United States and Canada, as well as in 12 other countries such as Finland and South Korea. This charity served 36.5 million people in 2016 in a myriad of ways, including providing cars for low-income individuals who need a way to get to work. If you need transportation to better your life but you just can't swing the cost, you'll want to see if your local Goodwill participates in the Wheels for Work program, and if so, apply for a used car.


  • Depending upon whether or not your local Goodwill store collaborates with the Wheels for Work program, you may be able to apply for access to used vehicles through this unique initiative.

Contact Your Local Social Services

Obtaining a used car through Goodwill varies by location. Some affiliates, such as Goodwill of Northern Michigan, require applicants to go through their local Department of Human Services. The application can be obtained via Goodwill's website or through the county case worker, but it must be turned in to the caseworker once it's filled out.

Once you've applied, the organization will look at everything from your need to your background to your determination to succeed. Some required information you can expect to see on the application form includes your name, housing situation, list of all the members of your household, driving history and employment history. You must attach a valid driver's license and pay stubs for the previous month.

Contact Goodwill Headquarters

Should your local Goodwill not work with their local Department of Human Services to make cars available, you can contact the organization's local headquarters for more information using the "Contact Us" form found on its website. Simply type your name and email address in the provided boxes and give the message a subject such as "Wheels for Work Inquiry." Add your message requesting an application or information on how to obtain an application, check the box that reveals you are not a robot and click the blue "Submit" button.

Buy the Used Car at Auction

Cars that are donated to Goodwill from Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C., are transported to Capital Auto Auction in the nation's capital. If you live in the area and have a little bit of money to spend on a car might want to consider visiting the auction and placing a bid instead of filling out an application and waiting for an approval or denial. If you can't get to the auction but live close enough to travel to Washington, D.C., to retrieve a car, you still could place a bid online for a Goodwill car. Capital Auto Auction's website allows you to sign up online for auctions.