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Old 06-16-2011, 06:00 PM
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: South Florida
Posts: 9,174

For you: I believe the way it is "supposed to work" now is that they sell the car and you get a donation write off for the amount that they sell the car for - and/or the blue book value of the car in its actual condition. When you file your taxes, of course, you effectively save ~30% of this value. So there is no real financial incentive to donate a car anymore, unless you think for some reason that you can't sell it for 1/3 of what it is actually worth.

Now, I happened to meet a gentleman who owns a towing company here in S Fl, and let me tell you how it worked for him:

He would get a call from the charity that said "go pick up a car at x address" - he said often they were estates being cleared out etc. Sometimes the charity knew what the car was, sometimes they didn't. He would go with a tow truck and pick it up. Once it got back to the yard, they had the first rights to buy - so if it was a car/truck they liked - they would offer the charity cash, somewhere in the neighborhood of half of what it was worth. If the charity declined, they would tow the car to auction and be done with it. The charities he worked with had absolutely no interest in owning a car, so he said most of the time they would take his cash offer and be done with it. He of course would fix anything broken, and resell the car to local mom and pop dealers for a handy profit.

He said the majority of the cars they got were junkers and/or not running or in remotely the condition they were supposed to be in - but that occasionally they got a gem - everything from 60s musclecars to vehicles that still had that new car smell.

Just something to think about. I was reminded of the time years ago when I donated a hundred hardbound books to a library, and the next week saw them on sale for $0.15 each.

Be honest about the condition, price it literally at half of what its fair value will be, and someone will take it and you'll come out ahead.
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