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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I donate my car if it isn't running?
    Yes! We accept most (if not all) car donations. We try to repair all vehicles back to working order.
  • What are the benefits of donating my vehicle?
    1. Helps us to serve society better 2. Tax deduction 3. Save on costs related to your vehicle 4. Free up parking spot
  • What will I need to donate my car?
    You will need a clean TITLE. Any lien holder listed on the title must be cleared and/or released by the bank. This law varies by state.
  • How quickly can I get my vehicle picked up?
    You will be contacted within 24 hours to start the donation process and schedule your pick-up.
  • What if there is a problem with my vehicle after it's donated?
    After we have picked up the vehicle, we take full responsibility. In the rare event that you receive any notification of a lien sale, DMV actions, infractions, evasions or other activity related to your donated vehicle, please contact us at 888-231-6877 immediately for assistance. Please note that you are liable for all fines/fees related to your vehicle prior to the pickup.
  • Can I donate a car that's over 10 years old?
    Of course! We don’t discriminate against the age of a donated car. All are welcome.
  • Can I donate an abandoned car?
    We can’t accept abandoned cars, unfortunately. For impounded vehicles, you’ll need to contact the local police and toll yard.
  • When donating my car, what exactly do you need from me?
    We will need the car, all copies of its keys, and the title.
  • I want to donate a car whose owner has passed away. Can I?
    Yes, but you’ll need a copy of the death certificate and documents that prove you have inherited the vehicle.
  • My car didn't pass the SMOG test or regular inspection. Can I donate it?
    Absolutely. We are more than happy to accept your car whether it has passed inspections or not.
  • How is the value of my vehicle determined?
    The value is determined by the gross proceeds raised from the sale of the donated vehicle. You no longer have the burden of determining the value yourself. The nonprofit organization will report the gross proceeds raised from the sale of the vehicle to the donor and IRS.
  • Here are some car donation tax tips.
    1. Make sure the charity is eligible to receive tax deductible contributions. The most common types of qualified organizations are section 501(c)(3) organizations, such as charitable, educational, or religious organizations. Visit to search for registered charities. 2. If the car is worth $5,000 or more, an independent appraisal may be necessary. The donor would fill out Section B of IRS Form 8283. 3. Consult your tax adviser or the IRS for more information about how you can claim charitable deductions. The IRS can answer your tax questions and can provide tax forms, publications, and other reading materials for further assistance. IRS materials are accessible through the Internet at, through telephone ordering at (800) 829-3676, and at IRS walk-in offices in many areas across the country.
  • How do I know my title is a clean, transferable title?
    1. The title must be in your name, with no cross-outs, white out, or errors. 2. All liens must be released, if there is a lien listed on your title, it must be signed off on the title or you must provide a separate lien release document.
  • Do I need to remove my license plates?
    In most states, you should remove the license plate and return it to the DMV. In others such as California, the license plate must remain with the vehicle.
  • What if I do not have the title?
    Contact your state DMV to obtain a new title.
  • What if the title is not in my name?
    Contact your state DMV to transfer the title into your name.
  • There are two people listed on the title, do both of us need to sign?
    Yes. If there are two owners listed on the front of a title, the majority of the time, both people will need to sign as the seller. If there is an ‘or’ in between the names, typically only 1 signature is required.
  • What about my license plate?
    The rules vary from state-to-state. It’s best to remove the license plate and return it to the DMV.
  • Do I need to notify the DMV when I donate my vehicle?
    Each state has different criteria on how to notify the DMV. Some states require the license plates to be returned to the DMV. In the states of Arizona, California, Illinois, Minnesota and Washington, you must also turn in a release of liability to the DMV. In Washington, Illinois and Minnesota, this form is called a Report of Sale.
  • Do I need to be home while you pick up my vehicle?
    Not at all. You’ll have to remove all personal belongings from the vehicle and leave all keys and the title inside.
  • How long does it take for you to pick up my car?
    After filing the donation form, you’ll receive a call from our affiliated towing company who will schedule a time (usually within 24 hours of the phone call) to pick it up. We are more than willing to work with you on scheduling a time that’s most convenient.
  • What happens at the time of pickup?
    The towing company should give you a receipt of pickup that contains our information. You’ll have to call us at the number on this receipt to receive your tax-deductible receipt, which we will send in the mail.
  • Will I be charged a towing fee for the pickup?
    Nope! There are no fees and no charges relating to donating your car to Cars4Compassion.
  • What happens to my donated car after it's picked up?
    After pickup, we inspect and repair your vehicle. Then, we try to sell it for the maximum amount possible. The proceeds of this sale go towards the maintenance and production of Cars4Compassion. You’ll also receive a tax-deductible receipt in the same amount the car was sold for.
  • How much is my tax deduction going to be?
    You can claim a deduction on your taxes for the value of your vehicle up to $500, or the amount we sell your donated car for if it’s more than $500.
  • How do you calculate the value of my donated car?
    We have an experienced team of salesmen who evaluate the value of your car based on the vehicle’s year, make, model, mileage, and local market. We try our best to sell your vehicle for the highest possible price, which gives us more money to use for programming and gives you a higher tax deduction.
  • Will I get tax receipt for my donation?
    Yes. You will receive an initial donation receipt at the time of your vehicle pick-up. You will then be mailed a tax receipt within 30 days of the sale of the vehicle. This acknowledgement will indicate your name as well as the year, make, model, and VIN. It will be your only receipt if your vehicle sells for less than $500. If your vehicle sells for more than $500 and your tax identification number has been provided, an “IRS Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes” will be mailed to you.
  • Will my donation count for the year I submit my donation form?
    Yes! As long as you submit your donation form by December 31st for a vehicle with a clean title, you will receive a tax deduction for the same tax year.
  • Tax benefits of car donation
    When you donate through our program you are eligible for a tax deduction. However, to claim your deduction you need to itemize it on your income tax return. In 2005, the IRS changed the laws related to tax deductibility of car donations because of exaggerated deductions based on inflated book values. Under the new rules, the deductible amount of your vehicle donation is directly related to the selling price of your vehicle.
  • When will I receive the tax-deductible receipt?
    You’ll receive a tax-deductible receipt in the mail up to four weeks after completing your donation.

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