We buy damaged cars nationwide.
Fixing your car may not always be the best option. Get an Instant Quote for Your Car.

How is Donating A Car Different From Selling?

Donate or Sell a CarAnyone who owns a car has been on one side of the selling process – the buyer’s side. Even if you’ve never sold a car yourself, it’s easy to understand how the sales process works because it’s much like buying or selling anything else.

But donating a car for cash is a different story altogether. It’s something strange and new and has its place in our automotive environment. But how do you compare selling vs donating a car?

Selling a car that you own is pretty standard fare today. You place an ad in your local classifieds online, whether it’s Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or another local source.

People who are interested in your car call, text, or email you to meet up and haggle on the price. You show your vehicle to prospective buyers and they try to grind you down on the price you’re asking. Once you settle on a price, you walk away with money in hand and they drive away in their new whip.

Selling a Truck, Car, or Van Has Its Issues

Selling a car has its disadvantages though. It can take a bunch of time to get your car fixed, cleaned, and ready to sell. You’ll get many messages from people who want to know your lowest price, then never respond again.

It can be unsafe to meet up with people you don’t know – who knows if they’re going to steal your car, snatch your wallet, or hurt you.

Get an Instant Online Offer for Your Car!

Enter your zip code below to get your FREE estimate and see how much your car is worth. Get paid the real cash value of your car in 24-48 hours!

Benefits of Donating a Car

For people who want to avoid many of the hassles that come with selling a car, giving a car as a donation is a great option. It’s a very simple procedure where you call up a local charity that accepts vehicle donations. Then, they pick it up and you get a donation receipt.

Come tax time, that donation receipt will make a difference when you file your income tax. How much exactly depends on your financial situation, but there’s no doubt it will boost your refund. At the very least, it will lower the amount you owe.

Besides the tax benefits, there’s comfort in knowing that donating a car to charity will make a difference. In addition, it’s going to save you a whole bunch of time that you otherwise would have wasted trying to sell it.

The downside of donating your car is simply this: you won’t receive any immediate financial benefit. In other words, there are no “cash for your car” donation services. There’s no money in your hand at first, but come income tax time, you’ll see the result of your generosity.

Should you Trade In or Donate A Car?

Both trading in and donating a car are the easy way to get out of your vehicle. When you’re in the market to replace your current vehicle, a trade-in could be the way to go.

However, if your car isn’t desirable, the dealer could lowball the value or say they don’t want it. Plus, a trade requires that you buy another vehicle.

On the other hand, if you just want to get rid of your car then donating it is better. There’s no need to purchase another vehicle and your car goes away just as quickly.

You might also consider junking or donating. Although you can sell your car to a junkyard, you won’t get the same satisfaction. Your car might sit there for years seeping chemicals into the environment instead of helping out another driver.


How Do I Donate My Car?

There’s always a tough decision to be made. Do you donate or sell a car? Which is best for you? Before you can figure out how to donate a car, you need to determine the best way to donate a car for your situation.

When you sell a car, you’ll get roughly what its resale value is. You can determine that when you check its fair market value on KBB.com or a similar site.

When you donate a car, there’s no immediate cash donation. You’ll get a donation receipt for its fair market value.

But if you can wait until tax time, you’ll get up to 40 percent of its value back in tax credit. Not only that, but a donation lowers your annual income level as well, letting you double-dip into tax savings!

I Have an Old Car. Donate or Sell?

Are you asking yourself, “Should I donate my car?” If it’s an older car, worth $1,000 or less, it’s probably a great idea. Let’s face it – the time it takes to sell a car is invaluable.

If you can save yourself ten hours trying to sell a $500 car, doesn’t that seem worth it alone? Add to the time savings the tax savings at year-end, and it’s almost a no-brainer. Unless you desperately need a few bucks in your pocket right now, that is.

Sell Your Junk Car to CarBrain.com

Selling vs Donating a CarYou’ve asked yourself, “Should I sell or donate my car?” But have you considered selling it to CarBrain instead? When the option is weighed – donate vs sell car to CarBrain – it comes out as a pretty clear winner.

With CarBrain, you get the best of both worlds. You get cash value in your hand right away WITHOUT the hassle and time commitment of selling a car.

You’ll get a fast, no-obligation offer for your car in as-is condition, no matter what it looks like or drives like. Once you accept the offer, you’ll receive payment in just a day or two. Your car is picked up free of charge.

It’s simple, and there are no fees to use CarBrain. We’ll even pay the title transfer fees for you. Check how much your car is worth by getting an offer now.


Get an Instant Cash Offer for Your Car

Is It Better To Donate A Car Or Junk It?

You might be familiar with junkyards accepting old, damaged cars. However, many nonprofits accept old car donations. You can get paid to donate your car, van, or SUV to charities that accept old vehicles.

Junking an old, damaged car is easy, but you are essentially just chucking in the trash. Although junkyards are supposed to recycle your car, you have no idea how long your vehicle will sit in the yard polluting the environment. Donating for cash, on the other hand, will help someone in your community.

You can get paid for both donating and junking, but it’s ultimately up to decide on the best option.

Should I Trade In Or Donate My Car?

There are benefits and disadvantages to both trading in and donating a vehicle.

The benefit of donating a car is that you get tax deductions when you file that year’s taxes. You will have to find a place where to donate a car near you to get a tax receipt. The downside to this is that you won’t see this money for months.

On the other hand, when you trade in a car, you can see how much money you get immediately. Then, you can use it toward a new car on the spot. Although the reward is immediate in this case, it might not be as high since dealerships often low-ball the value of cars.

Can I Donate A Car Without A Title?

If you’re trying to donate an old car for cash without a title, it might be difficult. This is because non-profits do not accept abandoned vehicles or those that have no claimed ownership.

However, if you simply lost your title, you can always visit your local DMV and request a duplicate title. Some states require that you possess other documents such as the car registration or your ID to sell a car. You can inquire about all car-related documentation with your state’s DMV.

How Much Can I Get For Donating My Car?

There isn’t exactly a “best place to donate a car” when it comes to the financial benefits. That’s because all charities must follow specific laws when it comes to donations and tax receipts.

The best car donation company is one that uses its donated vehicles efficiently and files its paperwork promptly.

What Paperwork Do I Need To Donate A Car?

If you’re seeking a place where to donate a car, you’ll need to have some paperwork prepared before you schedule any meeting.

The best places to donate a car will not accept a vehicle without some proof of ownership. This means that the charity is responsible, professional, and serious about car donations.

The most important piece of paper you need to donate your car is the title. This document indicates ownership and must be passed from one owner to the next.

Is Donating A Car A Good Idea?

If you are thinking, “I want to donate my car for money,” then you’re having a great idea. Donating your old vehicle to a charity can be incredibly beneficial to the organization of your choice. They either part out the car, allow volunteers to use it, or even give it to low-income families in need.

Clearly, your donation will be useful for a charity that accepts car donations.

Financially, it can be beneficial too. Donating a car will allow you to get tax breaks and the higher the vehicle’s value, the more you can get back on your tax return.

Can You Donate A Car That Doesn’t Run?

You need to know where you can donate your car for money if your vehicle isn’t running. Many charities do accept automobiles that don’t run. They will either fix it up or scrap it out for cash.

So, yes, you can donate a non-running car to a lot of places but check with the companies first to ensure that they accept cars that don’t work.