The Donation Process
What can I donate?
We accept most cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RV's, motorcycles, off road vehicles, heavy equipment and most other motorized vehicles. If you have any questions about what you can donate, please call us toll-free at (877) JFS-4CAR / (877) 537-4227 seven days a week.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes! At CARS™ we work with hundreds of non-profit 501 (c)(3) charitable organizations that are classified with the IRS. Individual tax situations vary so please check with a tax professional to determine how you may benefit.
How much will my tax write-off be?
The amount that is tax deductible is the sale price of the vehicle. For more information on tax write-offs, we suggest you review IRS Publication 526 which sets forth the manner in which the IRS requires you to determine the value of your donated property.
What do I need to donate my vehicle?
You will need the title to the vehicle, but if you do not have it, please call us anyway. It is possible that other arrangements may be made. Please call us toll-free at (877) JFS-4CAR / (877) 537-4227 seven days a week.
My car hasn't run in years. Can I still donate it?
Yes. We are able to accept most vehicles running or not. Exceptions include older vehicles whose value would not offset the cost of towing. Most vehicles need to be intact and in towable condition. To find out if we can accept your vehicle, please complete our secure online donation form or call us toll-free at (877) JFS-4CAR / (877) 537-4227seven days a week.
Can you pick up vehicles in all 50 states?
We are able to pick up most vehicles in the continental United States.
How is the value of my car determined?
Before filing your taxes, we suggest you review IRS Publication 526 which sets forth the manner in which the IRS requires you to determine the value of your donated property.
How will the car be picked up?
We will arrange to have your vehicle towed away at a scheduled time convenient for you. The vehicle will be picked up by a licensed tow company at no cost to you and will be taken to our sale location.
How long will it take to pick up my car?
We will contact you to schedule an appointment within two to three business days at the most. If you need your car picked up sooner, please call us toll-free at (877) JFS-4CAR / (877) 537-4227 seven days a week. We may be able to make those arrangements as well.
How can I contact you to schedule a pickup?
Please complete and submit our secure online donation form or call us toll-free at (877) JFS-4CAR / (877) 537-4227 seven days a week.
What do you do with my car?
We have our own sales locations where we evaluate the cars. When it is cost-effective, we make major and/or minor mechanical repairs. We use auction houses to sell the majority of our vehicles. On occasion we may receive a unique or specialty item for which we may use other means to sell the vehicle. Our goal is to ensure that the non-profit organization receives the maximum amount of money for each donation that they receive.
Where can I find more information about CARS™ ?
We have been providing an avenue for car donations for over 10 years and we are proud of our record of service. We invite you to read about us here on this web site. We also encourage you to visit the officialState of California Office of the Attorney General site for Charitable Trusts to view our corporate filings. Please call us at (877) JFS-4CAR / (877) 537-4227 with any questions you have about us.
The Donated Vehicle
What are the benefits of donating my car to charity?
Charities benefit by receiving a cash donation to fund new and existing programs and increase community awareness through local events. You benefit by being able to reduce your taxable income when taxes are itemized. Plus you avoid the costs associated with selling your car. No need to pay for advertising, no loss of privacy and possible security risk, and no need to pay for vehicle registration, insurance, and repairs to keep your car in running condition while you wait for a buyer.
What percentage of the proceeds from my car donation will go to the charity or non-profit organization?
The charity or non-profit organization receives 70% of the net proceeds.
Does my car have to be running to donate it?
In some cases we can take your car, running or not. However, it must have an engine and be towable. Contact a representative at (877) JFS-4CAR / (877) 537-4227 to find out if your vehicle qualifies for pick-up.
How long will it take to pick up my vehicle?
We make donating your car as simple and convenient as possible. In many cases, vehicles can be picked up within the same week. Call our representatives at (877) JFS-4CAR / (877) 537-4227, or complete our secure online donation form to set an appointment.
Do I need a smog certificate in order to donate my car?
For states that require smog certificates or safety inspections, you may donate your vehicle without these documents.
What if I receive legal notices?
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 (877) JFS-4CAR / (877) 537-4227 immediately for assistance.
How does the new law effect my tax deduction?
Donors will no longer be responsible for determining the deductible value of their donation. Instead, they will receive IRS Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes if the proceeds from the sale exceed $500, stating the amount of the gross proceeds from the sale of the donated vehicle. The amount listed on IRS Form 1098-C will be the gross proceeds of the deductible donation.
Will I get a tax receipt for my donation?
Yes, our driver will issue a receipt at the time of pick-up. This is not your final tax receipt unless the sale of your vehicle does not exceed $500. This initial acknowledgement will indicate your name as well as the year, make, model and condition of the car you are donating. It will be your only receipt if your vehicle sells for less than $500. AnIRS Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes will be mailed to you within 30 days of the sale stating the amount of gross proceeds received from your car, provided your vehicle sold for more than $500. This will be your tax receipt for your charitable contribution.
How is the value determined on the vehicle donated?
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.
Does the new law affect the charities?
Charities will have additional paperwork in reporting the gross proceeds raised from the sale of the vehicle to the donor and IRS. The process of obtaining the cash donation from the vehicle remains the same.
What can I claim as a deduction?
According to the tax law effective January 1, 2005, if the claimed value of the donated vehicle exceeds $500, the taxpayer is limited to the gross proceeds of the sale.
What if my car is valued over $5000?
Effective January 1, 2005, you will no longer be required to have vehicles appraised. The value you may claim will be the amount of gross proceeds received from your vehicle.
What type of paperwork will I need to donate my car?
You will need a clear title. Any lien holder listed on the title must be cleared and or released by the bank. This law varies by state. Please refer to the DMV in your state for clear instructions. You can access your state DMV web site from ourDVM Links page.
Do I need to remove my license plates?
This law varies by state. Please refer to the DMV in your state for clear instructions. See our DVM Links page to access the DMV web site in your state.
What if I do not have the title?
Contact your state DMV for directions on how to obtain a new title. You can access your state DMV web site from our DVM Links page.
What if the title is not in my name?
Contact your state DMV for directions on how to transfer the title into your name. See our DVM Links page to access the DMV web site in your state.
How do we transfer ownership?
Contact your state DMV for directions on how to transfer the title into your name. You can access your state DMV web site from our DVM Links page.
Do I need to notify the DMV when I donate my vehicle?
Each state has different criteria on how notification is made. Some states require the license plates to be returned to the DMV and other states may require a Release of Liability to be submitted to the DMV. Please contact your State DMV for directions on how to notify the state that you are no longer the owner of the vehicle. See our DVM Links page to access the DMV web site in your state.
Does my title need to be notarized?
Some states do require the title or transfer forms to be notarized, please check with your State DMV office for clarification. You can access your state DMV web site from our DVM Links page.