The first step to donating your car is to select a worthy charity. This is very much personal preference, but a good place to start is by thinking about others who have influenced your life in a positive way. Have you ever had surgery and needed blood? Consider the Red Cross as a possible charity, as they save lives every day with much needed blood donations. Do you have a pet or pets that you particularly adore? Perhaps the ASPCA would be a good choice. They rescue thousands of animals that would otherwise have died or lived their lives in misery.
Whatever charity you choose, once you have made your selection, make sure your car is able to be donated. To donate a car, it must be completely paid off with the title in your name. Even if you have only a few payments left, the bank will not allow you to donate a car that it legally still owns. If you have the title of your car in your name, you are ready to go.
In a few cases, the charity you have selected may actually have its own car donation program. Some of these include military veterans associations such as Purple Heart or other groups like Habitat for Humanity and The American Diabetes Association. If you have selected one of these charities, they will assist you with the donation process and most of the time come to your home to pick up the car.
However, if the charity you have chose does not have its own donation program, you can still get your donation where you want it to go. You will need to find a car donation program that has connections to multiple charities. These companies allow you to designate the proceeds of the car sale to go to the charity of your choice, minus a certain amount of overhead. Research these companies carefully, as many are not true charities and take an extremely high percentage of the money made from the sale of your car. Check with the IRS and their Publication 78 to ensure that the donation company is reputable.
Finally, you can claim your donation on your taxes, helping you out at income tax time. Just remember that the deduction is for the fair market value of your car. This may differ from the Blue Book value, so check IRS Publication 561 and 526 to figure out what the fair market value of your car is before you donate.
Raymond blogs for cash for trucks, and is a strong supporter of car donations.