No announcement yet.

Anyone ever donated a car?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Anyone ever donated a car?

    We have a used car would like to donate.  Anyone have any insight?  Was thinking may be easier just to take to carmax then donate the cash?  Thanks.

  • #2
    Depends on if Carmax would give you less than the fair market value (KBB, p much) of the car.

    If you think you'd get less than KBB value (based on condition of the car and private seller) from Carmax - and they usually pay absolute crap - then you might get farther ahead by just giving the car and taking the deduction if you're in a high bracket.

    If the charity re-sells the vehicle at an auction, though, then you get to deduct whatever they sell the vehicle for.  If they give it away or sell it way below value to a "needy individual," then you can deduct fair market value.

    Pasted from IRS Publication 17, updated 2015:

    "If you contribute a car, boat, or airplane to a charitable organization, you must determine its fair market value.Certain commercial firms and trade organizations publish used car pricing guides, commonly called “blue books,” containing complete dealer sale prices or dealer average prices for recent model years. The guides may be published monthly or seasonally and for different regions of the country. These guides also provide estimates for adjusting for unusual equipment, unusual mileage, and physical condition. The prices aren't “official” and these publications aren't considered an appraisal of any specific donated property. But they do provide clues for making an appraisal and suggest relative prices for comparison with current sales and offerings in your area.  You can also find used car pricing information on the Internet.


    You donate a used car in poor condition to a local high school for use by students studying car repair. A used car guide shows the dealer retail value for this type of car in poor condition is $1,600. However, the guide shows the price for a private party sale of the car is only $750. The fair market value of the car is considered to be $750."

    Compare that against whatever anyone else, e.g. Carmax, would pay for it.


    • #3
      I just donated my old clunker. KBB was probably under $1000 so I just googled my city and car donation. They came and got it. Pretty painless. I did it because my time and effort just wouldn't be worth a couple hundred bucks. Just remember to take off the license plate ?


      • #4
        Yes, I donated my car to a local charity.  They (the towing company) came and got it without any hitch.  As I recall, I think the Blue Book value was like $400 (but mine was likely even less since nothing worked on it) but they gave me a receipt for for $500.  Wish I had drained out all the gas.  Otherwise everyone was happy.


        • #5
          You're only going to get a deduction for whatever they sell it for.


          There was a crackdown on this about ten years ago or so when charities began soliciting these types of donations for old clunkers which would somehow show up as priceless collector cars on the 1040.


          Edit - sorry for reviving the old thread