Donating Your Car to Charity

By Lori Straus

If your vehicle is long past its prime and you would like someone to take care of disposing of it, consider donating your vehicle to charity. Not only will you save yourself the hassle of getting rid of your vehicle, but you will also do some good and get a tax receipt out of the process. You have a few options when it comes to donating your vehicle to charity. I’ll explain those in this blog post.

What You Need Before You Start

First: you must either own the vehicle you wish to donate or if you are settling an estate, be legally allowed to sell the vehicle. In other words, you can’t donate your annoying neighbour’s noisy vehicle to charity.

These organizations can also only accept vehicles that are free of liens. If you purchased your vehicle privately and didn’t do a lien check on it, do so now.

Regardless of what method you choose to donate your vehicle, you will have to either fill out an online form or make a phone call and give the organization the information they need so they can decide whether they can accept your vehicle.

Closeup on car towed onto flatbed tow truck with cable being donated for carityDonating Directly to Charity

Some charities will accept the donation directly. In Ontario, they include the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in the GTA, Kars4Kids, and The Kidney Foundation of Canada. Donating directly to a charity can save the charity the cost of working with a third party.

However, these are few and far between, and you may discover that your favourite charity accepts donations via a third party.

Donating Your Vehicle via a Third Party

You’ll find several organizations online who offer to recycle or auction your vehicle. These organizations work with a host of charities. Below are two such national organizations. If you choose to donate your vehicle here, the charity receiving your donation will issue you your tax receipt.

Donate a Car is used by a range of charities, from the Canadian Cancer Society to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Many local and regional charities also receive donations from this organization.

Car Heaven is run by Automotive Recyclers of Canada. According to their website, they charge neither the donor nor the charities any fees whatsoever. They work with many charities, including the Canadian Red Cross, Green Communities Canada, Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

No Option Is Wrong

Regardless of how you donate your car to charity, know that the charity will appreciate your donation. Some charities use a third party that can focus on a very niche area of expertise, and others pay someone to manage that program in-house. What matters in the end is that you’re helping an organization whose mission is one you support.