7 Signs That It’s Time to Donate Your Car
donate your car


You may be aware of the excellent reputation of Second Chances Garage and the many different ways they help those in the Frederick community. Maybe you heard of us because you are planning on attending Dynamic Automotive’s August 6th Car Show, which will benefit Second Chances Garage.  

Maybe you even know a recipient of a Second Chances Garage program car and thought to yourself, “I’d love to donate a car, but is it the right time?”. 

Here are 7 signs that it’s time to donate your car:

  1. Your car has high mileage: You may be a person who starts thinking about buying another vehicle when the odometer on your current car creeps towards 100,000 miles. Or maybe 125,000 is your threshold? When cars have high mileage, they tend to start needing costly repairs that are no longer covered by warranties – which leads us to the second sign that it’s time to donate your car.
  2. Your car needs expensive repairs: There comes a point in the life of every vehicle when the owner looks at it, sighs, and realizes that it will cost more to repair the car than it is actually worth. At this point, the car has officially become a money pit. It just doesn’t make financial sense to fix it, only to know something else will go wrong in a few weeks. If your car is no longer running, you may think the car is not worth donating, but it is! – and we can even tow the car at no cost to you. If it doesn’t qualify for our Low-Cost Vehicle Program or for public sale, we can recycle it for parts. No matter what, your donated vehicle helps support our mission and the Frederick community.
  3. Your car is not reliable: Now that the pandemic is easing and people are less likely to work from home, you need a car you can count on. Your boss may be understanding the first time you are late because your car broke down, but if it is a regular occurrence, you are bound to have some repercussions. If your car is unreliable, chances are that it needs some expensive repairs and you may not be able to get much for a trade-in. It’s the perfect opportunity to donate your car to support a local nonprofit.
  4. Your needs have changed: The 2005 Hyundai Accent with three doors (including the hatchback) you bought to go to college may not accommodate the sturdy car seats and gear of your growing family. Or perhaps the crackling in your knees is telling you that you need a car that’s easier to climb into. Maybe you have moved from the Florida sun to Maryland and realized that you want a car that can more safely take you skiing at Whitetail, Liberty Mountain Resort, or somewhere further north in the snow. If it’s time to buy a different vehicle, it’s time to donate your current car.
  5. You don’t want to deal with the headache of selling or trading in your car: You may have already made the decision to replace your vehicle. All that’s left is to sell the old one. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Selling privately to an individual involves paperwork, the MVA, and a level of trust you may not have for a stranger. Trading in a vehicle at a dealership is also problematic; you may not receive a fair offer for what your car is worth, and the profit goes to the dealer. If you donate your car to Second Chances Garage, you will know that it will benefit a local individual or family who really needs it. Also, should your car go to an individual or family through our program, we will notify you and give you the opportunity to come to the car presentation. It’s always such a great experience!
  6. You are interested in receiving a tax deduction: If your car becomes one of our “program” vehicles, your tax deduction will equal the Kelly Blue Book “private party sale value.” If we sell the car to the general public, you will get a tax deduction for whatever price it sells for. If your car is recycled for parts, you will receive a tax deduction for the recycle value. If that value is less than $500, the IRS allows you to claim up to $500. As always, it’s best to consult with a tax professional about your unique situation and how the deduction may benefit you.
  7. You have inherited a car: You may be perfectly satisfied with the vehicle you drive, but a relative has left you another car. Not sure what to do with the car? This is a perfect time to donate. Not only will you honor your relative by making a contribution to the community, but you will also be spared the hassle of finding a buyer. At Second Chances Garage, we are experienced in the process and paperwork required for handling inherited vehicles. We’ll work with you to make it easy.  

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what prompts you to donate your car – what matters is the end result. Second Chances Garage seeks to make a difference in our community of Frederick County, Maryland by offering “second chances” for individuals and families on their journey to independent living by providing assistance with their personal transportation needs. By following this short three-step process, you can help make that happen.

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