Ready to donate an unwanted car but don’t know where to start? Many charities accept vehicle donations. The tricky part is finding a legitimate charity that qualifies for a charitable contribution deduction, has a mission you believe in, and uses its donations efficiently.
5 Best Car Donation Charities
1. Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity accepts donated cars, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, farm equipment and construction equipment. Vehicles are resold or recycled to raise funds to support the charity’s mission of building safe and affordable homes for families in need.
The watchdog CharityWatch gives Habitat for Humanity International a grade of B (on a scale of A+ to F) for its financial practices. CharityWatch says the organization devotes 73% of its budget toward programs, relative to overhead, and spends an average $27 to raise $100 of contributions.
Guidestar, which researches nonprofits, awarded Habitat its Gold Seal of Transparency in 2020.
To donate a car to Habitat for Humanity, you can use the website Car Donation Wizard or call 877-277-4344 to provide your vehicle information and schedule your pickup.
2. Ronald McDonald House Charities
Your local chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) may accept donations of cars, trucks, boats, RVs and other vehicles. The organization sells the cars and uses the proceeds to help provide families with a home away from home during the hospitalization of a seriously ill or injured child.
CharityWatch gives RMHC’s National Office a grade of A. The watchdog says the organization uses 88% of its budget for programs, versus overhead, and spends $9 to raise every $100 of contributions.
To donate a vehicle to RMHC, call 855-227-7435 or visit the group’s car donation website. Charitable Adult Rides & Services (CARS), a nonprofit that partners with RMHC for vehicle donations, will pick up your vehicle free of charge and send you the documentation needed to claim a charitable contribution on your taxes.
3. The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army accepts vehicle donations in certain locations. The organization sells donated vehicles to fund various programs, including disaster relief, homeless shelters, food pantries, veterans services, job training and more.
The Salvation Army organization is made up of four territories: Central, Eastern, Southern and Western. All are rated B+ or better by CharityWatch.
A Salvation Army webpage can help you find its vehicle donation services near you.
You can’t drop off a car at any Goodwill donation center, but the charity does accept donations of cars, RVs, boats, motorcycles and many other specialty vehicles. Goodwill sells all donated cars and uses the proceeds to support its vocational services.
Goodwill Industries International has been given an A grade by CharityWatch, which says the organization devotes 87% of its budget on programs, relative to overhead, and spends just $2 to raise $100 of contributions.
To get started, fill out the vehicle donation form at GoodwillCarDonation.org or call 855-980-0171. The organization will schedule a vehicle pickup and send you a receipt.
5. Canine Companions for Independence
Canine Companions for Independence provides service dogs to adults, children and veterans with disabilities, and facility dogs for professionals working in health care, criminal justice and education.
CharityWatch gives Canine Companions a B grade, saying that it uses 68% of its budget for programs and spends $20 on fundraising for every $100 in contributions.
The organization accepts donations of cars, trucks, boats, planes, motorcycles and other vehicles, running or not. You can start your donation either online or by calling 866-398-4483.