Why donate a car?
The biggest reason to donate a car is that the repairs cost more than the value of the car. Also, that car is taking up driveway space. Perhaps it’s collecting parking tickets, or your paying to store it. When having an old car costs more than it’s worth, the scale tips. So, no matter how good of a mechanic you are (unless you have a tree that grows money) all cars have an expiration date. So why not donate that car to charity?
Here are some of the top reasons to donate a car:
- Your teenager wrecked the family car/drove it without oil/didn’t maintain it.
- You bought a new car and didn’t want to accept the trade-in value on your old car.
- That dumpy commuter is 12-15 years old, and has over 200,000 miles on it. You can’t justify spending another $800 to keep it going (because you know there is no end to the number of $800 repairs it’s going to need from now on).
- The car had an accident. It’s not totaled, but what are you going to do with it?
- You bought or inherited a “classic” and intended to refurbish it, but lost interest (or money).
- A parent or close family member passed away, and you’re not sure what to do with their car.
- Did you win the lottery and buy all new cars? Do you need a tax break from all that money?
Does that sound familiar (except maybe #7)? So, the good news is, that regardless of your car’s condition, you can donate any car as long as it has wheels (even if they’re flat), and a clear title.
Where to donate your car?
Start by picking a local 501(c)(3) charity, in good standing with the Utah State Division of Consumer protection. Out of state charities, sometimes get far less or very little of the money raised from your car donation. A big chunk goes to the agency advertising and managing their car donation phone calls. Make sure the charity receives at least 75% of the money raised. Kidney Kars of Utah is managed locally. So Kidney Kars donations stay local, and benefit local kidney patients. But how to get started:
- Call the charity you are intending to donate to (801) 226-5111. Ask them where there office is? How much of the money from your car donation benefits Utah/Idaho patients?
- If you don’t like the answers from the first charity, call another charity. Unfortunately, there are a lot of charities advertising online. They can’t give you specifics on how your donation will be used like a local charity.
How to donate your car
Now you feel good about the chosen charity. Get ready to give them some details about the car.
Here’s how to donate:
- Find your car’s title (this will be the hardest part of the donation process!).
- Call the local charity or go online to www.towKars.org (be sure you’re on the local website!). Be prepared to answer a few questions: donor’s name, pick up address, phone number, email, VIN and title Number, mileage, and basic vehicle condition.
- Once the charity has the information, the next step should be getting a call from the tow company to arrange pick up. Kidney Kars can pick up a car in 24-48 hours (except Sundays).
How does car pickup work?
Once you’ve submitted the information to the charity about the car, the pick-up and towing is fairly straight forward and fast.
Here’s how the pick-up works:
- You will receive an email from the charity confirming your donation. It will contain the phone number of the agency assigned to pick up your car.
- The towing company will call or text you from that number within 24-48 hours. They will give you a 3 hour window to estimate their arrival time.
- Remove all your personal belongings! That includes items in the glove compartment and in the trunk. The charity can’t be held responsible for items left in the vehicle.
- The towing company will ask you to leave the keys and title (signed over to the charity) inside the car.
- It’s not necessary for you to be there when they come to tow the car.
What to watch out for when donating!
- Be sure you are donating to your intended charity! Double check the website address in your search bar to make sure it’s www.towKars.org That way, you’re sure you’re calling the local charity office at (801) 226-5111!
- You should immediately receive an email confirming your donation from the charity.
- Check to be sure the phone number of the towing company matches the number you received via email.
See? Easy peasy!