3 Questions to Ask Before Donating a Car

Do you have a used car sitting around that you no longer want or need?

Donating a car to charity is a great way to let go of an unwanted vehicle. You save the hassle of selling or trading in your car, support a charitable cause, and may even receive a tax advantage! But, not all car donation programs are alike.

2008 Cadillac SRX Front
Front view of Cadillac at Goodwill Auto Auction

Here are three important questions to ask before you donate your car:

#1: Is the charity a 501(c)3 non-profit?

It’s true that donating a car to charity may help you qualify for a tax advantage on your itemized tax return. But, not all car donation organizations are qualified 501(c)3 non-profits! It’s always important to do your homework before choosing a place to donate your car — but we can save you some time. Ohio Valley Goodwill IS a reputable non-profit organization, and by donating a vehicle, you may be eligible for a tax advantage while supporting our mission. To find out more about the guidelines from the IRS for charitable contributions, visit www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040.

#2: What happens to your donated car?

It’s important to make sure your vehicle donation will be used effectively by the charity. Some organizations fix up vehicles and use them for internal needs, such as delivering meals or transporting volunteers. Others might resell the vehicle and use the proceeds to fund their services. If the charity operates a donate-resell program, carefully research before donating your vehicle. Some organizations use for-profit auction companies to conduct their auctions. Many times, these third-party companies will take a portion of the money raised by the donated cars and leave only a small amount for the actual charity.

2008 Toyota Highlander Front
Toyota Highlander at Goodwill Auto Auction

At Ohio Valley Goodwill, every vehicle donated is prepared for sale at our weekly public Auto Auction. The revenue from our auto auction stays here in Cincinnati to support our job training programs and services for individuals with disabilities. Unlike some other auto auctions, we operate our entire car donation and auction process in-house, meaning there’s no “middle man” getting a cut of your generous donation!

#3: What types of vehicles are accepted?

Some donation programs only accept cars, but others will gladly take vehicle donations ranging from riding lawnmowers to RVs! At Ohio Valley Goodwill, we know that your used cars, trucks, SUVs, boats, motorcycles, four-wheelers, RVs (and yes, even riding lawnmowers and jet skis) hold value and will be resold in our auto auction.

Best of all, Goodwill makes the car donation process as easy as possible for you! Simply drop off your donation at one of our convenient donation drop sites in and around Cincinnati or schedule a FREE tow if your vehicle isn’t running. You can feel great knowing your donation is making a difference and supporting Goodwill’s mission to provide training and employment services to those facing barriers to employment.

Goodwill graphic with text: Donate a Car. Change a Life.
Donate a Car. Change a Life.

Donate a car to Goodwill today! Fill out our donation form to get started.

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