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How To Make The Most Good Out Of Your Donated Used Car

Donating your car when you buy a new one is a great idea, and can really help some noble causes. However, to accomplish the most good by donating your car, it's important to know what the company you're donating to will actually use the car for. Check out this guide to learn how to be sure your used car is actually helping others, and how to make it help the most.

Avoiding Scams

First of all, you should always make sure that the group you're donating your vehicle to is truly a non-profit charity. While many groups exist that do genuinely use donated cars for charity purposes, some of them are scams. If you donate your car to a fake charity, you won't be able to take a deduction off your taxes, and no one but the people running the scam will benefit from your kindness.

The Problem With Charities

Real charities advertise that they accept cars, running and non-functional alike, to raise funds or provide vehicles to people in need. However, this is where things can be a bit tricky. Non-profits are legally allowed to sell things that are donated to them for their own gain, so long as said profit goes towards keeping the business' operating costs. This means that while your car won't be fattening anyone's wallets, it might be used to help the non-profit survive rather than actually helping one of their clients. 

Donate to a School

Instead of donating directly to a charity that claims to sell or repair the cars for people in need, consider donating the car to a non-profit trade school. These schools use the cars in their classes to teach their students how to repair and maintain vehicles, from the engine to the chassis. Many schools, such as Newgate School, turn it into a project for a class to work on for a semester or a full year.

Once the car is repaired, cleaned up, and in drivable shape, the school will donate it directly to a person in need who doesn't have a car.

Accomplishes Both

By donating your car to a school, you're guaranteeing that the students who will become future mechanics will have what they need to become great at their career. Better still, since non-profit schools receive federal funding and their students' tuition, they don't have any need to sell off cars or parts of cars to make money. You can rest assured knowing that your car will teach students, and then be handed over to someone who really needs it—not just sold for scrap or parts.

Donating a car you don't need anymore can give someone else an easier life, but only if you find the right place to donate it to. Be mindful of scams and charities' find print, or just contact a trade school directly about the possibility of donating your car.