Tips for Evaluating Which Nonprofit Should Receive Your Donated Car


Do you have an old or unused vehicle? Do you want to donate it, but you don’t know which nonprofit is best suited for your donation? 

Let’s take a look at the most important factors in your decision. Here are some helpful tips for deciding which charity is the right fit.

Ask if the nonprofit benefits local people.

If you want to keep your donation local, ask whether the nonprofit benefits people in your area. Some charities provide vehicles across the U.S., so your donation won’t stay in your community. Second Chances Garage provides cars for people in the Frederick County, Maryland area. Our website features local recipients who now support themselves and their families with reliable transportation.

Check their status with the state.

The state of Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) regulates charities accepting donated vehicles. Double-check to ensure your intended charity is in good standing with the state and follows regulations for proper vehicle handling and transfer of ownership.

Inquire whether they take old, high-mileage, and broken vehicles.

What’s their vehicle donation policy? Some charities accept only driveable and late-model vehicles. Others accept old vehicles as long as they’re fully operational. At Second Chances Garage, we take all makes and models of vehicles in all conditions, even if they’re not driveable or will need major repairs.

Determine whether you have the title and whether they need it.

If you don’t have the title, Second Chances Garage can’t accept your donation. However, some government programs and organizations take vehicles without titles. Consult the Maryland MVA to discuss the status of your title and prevent accidentally making an improper donation.

Find out if they can tow it for free.

Very few organizations will tow your vehicle at no cost. Even your car insurance company might charge you a towing fee! But here’s some good news: Second Chances Garage will tow your vehicle for free when you donate it to us and the car is within 30 miles of our shop.

Ask how quickly they can take your car.

Some organizations exclusively accept donations during certain periods, like when they’re holding their annual donation event. This means you’ll have to leave your car sitting in your driveway until then. However, Second Chances Garage accepts vehicles year-round, so your donation can happen very quickly anytime.

Make sure they’re not sending it to the junkyard.

You’ve probably seen Maryland’s news stories about the recent rise in catalytic converter thefts and stolen vehicles. Unfortunately, some auto mechanics, unethical junkyards, and fake charities participate in schemes to trick people out of their cars. Instead of wondering what will happen to your car or sending it to a junkyard, choose a reputable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that follows the law and holds high ethical standards.

Learn about the potential tax benefits.

Did you know you could qualify for a tax break for donating your vehicle? Second Chances Garage is an IRS-verified nonprofit organization, which means you may be able to claim valuable tax benefits from donating.

To learn more, explore our easy three-step process and connect with Second Chances Garage to discuss your donation.

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