Knowledge is power even when it comes to car donation. The more knowledge you have about the car donation process, the better decision you will make about whether to donate your car and what charity to donate the car to.
The answer to the question of whether to donate your car is determined by your motivation for donating it. If your motivation is simply to help the charity, the answer is of course; donate car.
If your motivation is get a tax deduction you will need to gain some knowledge about what the tax deduction is and if will you be able to claim it. To claim the tax deduction, you will need to itemize on your Federal tax return. That means you will have to file Schedule A. Your actual benefit from your car donation is determined by the tax bracket you are in. For example, if you are in the 35% tax bracket, your actual benefit is 35% of the amount you claim for your car donation.
There are several things that will determine which charity you donate car to. One of them is the mission of the charity. There are a very wide variety of charities that accept vehicle donations. They include international and national charities as well as state, regional and local ones. Their missions range from conducting research on many diseases and afflictions, to helping those who are afflicted, to animal rights issues, to environmental issues, to programs for young people, to care for the elderly, disabled, injured or abused, to local food banks, homeless shelters, hospices, etc.
Once you determine the mission you wish to support, you will want to obtain some knowledge of their efficiency, effectiveness, reputation, etc. There are a number of ways to can check them out. Some of the places you can check are Charity Navigators, the Institute of Philanthropy, GuideStar, etc. If the charity you are checking on does not have a good rating, those guides will show you alternative ones.
Once you have narrowed down you choices, you will need to gain some knowledge about their car donation process. One thing you will want to know is whether they handle donations themselves or use the services of a car donation center. Many use a car donation center. One reason they do is because the vast majority of donated cars are sold. There is a certain level of expertise required in operating a car donation program. It requires the knowledge of the rules and regulations involved in the sale of vehicles, the transfer of titles, what to do with the license plates, etc. These rules and regulations vary by state. Many charities prefer not to use their resources for this and often find it to be more cost effective to use a car donation center.
Next, you will want to gain some knowledge regarding the qualifications the charity has for accepting a vehicle. Many prefer to only accept those cars that run and are less than ten years old. Other charities accept vehicles in virtually any condition as long as they have not been stripped of their parts and are in a location from where they can be towed.
The more knowledge you have regarding the intricacies of car donations, the more you will know whether and where to donate your car.