Donate A Car and Help a Family in Need

Our primary mission is to provide safe and reliable cars to low-income families in Frederick County. Donated cars are potentially provided to an applicant who is vetted by one of our Partner Agencies after being thoroughly evaluated and detailed. Learn more about what happens when you donate a car.

Steps to Donate A Car

Step 1

Complete the online Form

Step 2

Speak with us and
schedule the donation

Step 3

Drop Off your car
or let us pick it up

When you donate a car...

The car is accepted no matter what condition

Every car, no matter what the condition, is valuable to us. While low-mileage, late-model cars are perfect for our program, older or high-mileage cars can still help us. We even take cars that are no longer running.

The car is thoroughly examined

We go through a stringent checklist to identify how we will be using the car.

The car is deemed as a program car, car for sale or a car to be recycled

Depending on the condition, it will be dispositioned in one of three ways - All of which help to support our programs and operations.

The car is repaired

A Maryland state inspection is performed and necessary repairs are completed (if applicable - based on the car disposition)

We give the new owner the keys

The car is placed with its new owner. If the car is provided to a low-income family, we design a service plan to help the owner stick to a low-cost repair service for 6-months.

Tax Benefits

Second Chances Garage is a certified IRS 501(c)(3) charity so you can take advantage of tax benefits when donating your car. Tax benefits work in a variety of ways, yet typically fall into one of the following categories. 

private party sale value

The donated vehicle is taken into our shop and thoroughly examined to determine what needs repair or replacement.  Once that’s done and a list of needs is created, it moves into the repair phase. If it’s a solid vehicle with less than 200,000 miles, it’s repaired, Maryland inspected, and placed into our “program.” As a “program” vehicle, it is reserved in our system until provided, for a nominal fee, to an individual or family referred to us by one of our over 40 partner agencies in the Frederick area. If this happens to your donated vehicle, your tax deduction equals the Kelly Blue Book “private party sale value.”

Sale Price Value

If the vehicle doesn’t meet our strict criteria to be a program vehicle, we repair what needs attention and sell the vehicle to the general public from our lot either as Maryland inspected or “as is” for the lowest possible price. In this case, your tax deduction would equal the amount for which we were able to sell the vehicle.

Minimum Tax Deduction

Unfortunately, not all vehicles that we receive fall into the previous two categories. In that case, we either recycle your vehicle or sell it as is for a very low price. If the amount that we obtain is less than $500, you are still entitled to claim $500.

Please note: The above categories are just examples. You should consult a tax expert to determine the tax benefits that would apply to you should you donate a car.


Yes! High-mileage cars that still have life can be refurbished and made available for sale, helping offset the cost of our programs. Even cars that have served out their useful life can provide parts to other cars in our program before being carefully recycled.

To help our Frederick community. Our primary mission is to provide safe and reliable vehicles to low-income wage earners in Frederick County, Maryland. Vehicles are placed with qualified applicants who are referred to us by our Partner Agencies. 

Each car is thoroughly examined and all necessary repairs completed. Vehicles must pass a rigorous Maryland safety inspection. They are then carefully detailed so that recipients are receiving a car in which they can take pride. 

We don’t walk away after handing new owners the keys, as there is more to automobile ownership than simply filling the tank with gas. We work with each recipient to design a service plan and help the owner stick to it with low-cost car repair service for six months.

We take cars in all conditions. Chances are that even if it doesn’t run, we can still use parts or recycle it.

Don’t have a way to get us your vehicle? No problem. We will be happy to come and pick it up at no cost to you. With the help of Derek’s Towing we can make your gift a reality.