FAQs | Volunteers of America

Donate a Car,
Boat, or RV

FAQs

Our locally-based vehicle donation programs help millions

To you it’s a used vehicle, boat, or RV. To us, your donation represents meals for thousands of hungry children, a new job and a new life for a homeless veteran, rehabilitation for an addict, therapy for victims of domestic abuse, and so much more. When you donate, the proceeds go to funding vital programs for low-income individuals in your community. This locally-based vehicle donation program is what sets Volunteers of America apart from other car donation programs. We take your unwanted vehicle off your hands and use it to give the less fortunate around you the help and hope they need.

Why donate my car, truck, motorcycle, boat or RV?

Our life improvement programs and services provide immediate care and long term solutions to help individuals and families overcome personal challenges and lead productive, healthy lives. Not only does your donation help the most vulnerable members of your community, our process is quick and convenient, making giving back easy!

What can I donate?

We accept all motorized vehicles, cars, boats*, RVs*, motorcycles*, and golf carts! No matter what you donate, the process is the same, just fill out our simple form and we’ll call you to schedule your free pickup at your convenience.

*Process is different. Contact one of our representatives to explain the process.

What condition does my vehicle need to be for donation?

We accept all vehicles, regardless of their condition. Our team of mechanics will inspect and repair* your used car to then sell on our used car lot in Pontiac, MI, where we give a special discount to low-income individuals. If the vehicle is inoperable, you can still donate it. We’ll take the funds from the materials we’re able to scrap and put them towards our life-changing programs.

*Not all vehicles are repaired.

Do you pick up the vehicle when I donate it?

No matter where you live, we have a trusted, professionally licensed, towing partner near you. If you donate your vehicle, pick up is totally free and usually occurs within 24 hours* of submitting your donation form! Once you submit your donate form, we’ll contact you to schedule a pick up time that works for you.

*Towing company will contact donor in one to two business days to schedule pick up.

Do I need to be present when the tow truck arrives?

As long as the vehicle is not blocked in and the title and keys are inside the vehicle, you do not need to be present for pickup. Please remember to remove any personal items and remove the license plate.

What if I don’t have a title?

All vehicles must have a title and applicable lien release provided at time of pick up. National car donation vehicles will not be picked up without a title.

When will I receive my receipt?

Our towing partner can give you a temporary receipt and we will mail your permanent copy usually within three to five business days after pickup. National donation receipts will be mailed once the vehicle is sold.

I have inherited a car can I donate it?

Absolutely! Contact us today and one of our representatives would be happy to explain the process to you.

How large will my deduction be?

We're proud to be able to get you Kelly Blue Book value for your deduction, meaning you'll get the private party value of your vehicle for your tax deduction. National tax deduction is $500, unless the vehicle sells for more.

How does my donation support community programs?

Unlike other vehicle donation programs, 100% of your donation stays in your state, and 88% of it goes directly towards supporting local Volunteers of America programs. We keep our overhead low so the maximum donation amount can go to those in need. No matter what you donate, the proceeds fund services like homeless shelters, community kitchens, job training for veterans, addict rehabilitation, housing and care for seniors, the Adopt-A-Family Christmas program, youth projects and more!

How does my donation help local homeless men, women, and children?

Volunteers of America offers a range of services for individuals and families struggling with homelessness that not only provide immediate care, but also offer permanent solutions. Your generous donation supports overnight emergency shelters, hotel shelters, food pantries, clothing closets, and the Adopt-A-Family Christmas program. We also provide help with subsidized housing and permanent, supportive living situations for homeless individuals with disabilities. Want to help us give life-changing opportunities to the homeless in your community? Donate your used vehicle today!

How can my donation help homeless veterans?

We provide a number of services for homeless or low-income Veterans and their families. Our employment and training services identify and address employment barriers and enroll Veterans in job skills training programs. We provide food and shelter options to meet their basic needs, as well as physical and mental health services at VA medical hospitals. Help us build new lives for Vets across the country by donating your car today!

How does my donation help seniors?

Volunteers of America is the fourth largest provider of nursing care in the nation, dedicated to giving seniors the assistance they need without draining their life savings. We provide affordable assisted living facilities, advocacy programs with social services, transportation, vision, hearing, dental and mental health care, as well as fun activities and outings. Your generous donations ensure that low-income seniors receive the care they deserve, and can lead active, sociable lives.
Further, since the 1970’s Volunteers of America has met the unique needs of low-income and forgotten seniors who need daily assistance in their home, through our PACE program. A comprehensive health care choice that provides meal support, emergency services, personal care, home modification, prescription coverage, 24-hour access to our care team and much more. We believe all seniors should be treated with respect and dignity, and helping us provide better care for the elderly in your community is as easy as donating your car today!

How do I avoid vehicle donation scams?

There are plenty of charity car donation programs that will gladly accept your vehicle donation. However, it’s important to know that many are profitable organizations that collect money off of your donation and only donate a fraction of the donation to charity; some as low as 1%. To ensure that you’re donating your vehicle to a legitimate charity, check the IRS charity status. If the charity is not listed as a 501(c)(3) organization your deduction may be disallowed, and you could owe the IRS interest and penalties. Other red flags to keep in mind are middleman organizations that collect your vehicle and keep a portion as a so-called “operating cost”, and vague descriptions about the programs they offer and where they offer them. To avoid scams when donating your used vehicle, donate to Volunteers of America. We are a charity officially recognized by the IRS, highly rated by the Better Business Bureau, and 88% of your donation is poured into local, life-changing programs.