6 Steps to Donate a Car in California

6 Steps to Donate a Car in California6 Steps to Donate a Car in California - How to Donate a Car in California

Donating a car is a wonderful way to make a positive impact in your community while potentially receiving some benefits yourself. For over 15 years, Car Donation Wizard has connected donors with respected charities that use your car donation to fund the important work they do to make a difference in their communities.

We’ve raised over $250 million for nonprofit organizations and we are consistently ranked as the program with the highest return by the California Attorney General Report.

Car donations can provide a lot of benefits, including tax deductions, environmental sustainability, and helping to support causes you care about.

Whether you’re looking to support a charitable cause or simply want to get rid of an old vehicle, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of donating a car in California.

1: Do Your Research

Scammers will masquerade as legitimate organizations, so if you intend to donate to a ‘wish’ organization or a ‘kids’ charity, be wary. The organization may not benefit that charity directly and they will go a long way to pretend that they do. In many cases, there aren’t any kids at all or there are very few wishes being granted.

If you search the internet for the term “car donation”, the first search results and answers are normally not in your best interest. The search results page is filled with fake locations on maps and fraudulent charities. Be sure to do your research and avoid donating a car to disreputable organizations.

Step 2: Choose a Charity

A charity should be recognizable to you by the work that they do in your community and in the world. Don’t fall for catchy jingles or billboards. Car Donation Wizard partners with nationally respected charities such as Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, and many more.

of our charity partners are ranked on top rated sites, like Forbes and Moneycrashers, as the best programs to trust with your car donation.

Step 3: Fill Out the Donation Form

After you select your charity, you’ll fill out the car donation form. We’ll ask for some information about your vehicle including the VIN, year, make, model, mileage, and condition.

Tell us your contact information and where the car will be picked up. If you’re completing the form on a mobile device, you’ll also have the option to take photos of your vehicle.

Step 4: Schedule Car Pick Up Time

We’ll assign your vehicle to a licensed towing agent. The towing agent will contact you within 2-3 business days to schedule a car pick up time most convenient for you. Your car will be towed for free! At the time of pick up, you’ll hand over the car keys and signed title to the tow driver.

Be sure your car is in a tow accessible location, such as a driveway or on the street.

Step 5: Track Your Car Donation

After you submit the donation form, you will receive a confirmation email with access to your Donor Console. From the Donor Console, you can track your car donation in real-time. You’ll also be able to access title transfer instructions and tax information.

Step 6: Receive a Tax Receipt

Within 30 days of the sale of your car donation, you’ll be emailed a tax receipt. The amount that is tax-deductible is equal to the sale price of your vehicle. If your car sold for less than $500, you can claim the fair market value of the vehicle up to $499.

If your vehicle sells for more than $500 and you want to claim the full amount when itemizing taxes, an IRS Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes will be mailed to you. This form will be your tax receipt for your vehicle donation.

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