How to get a car donated from a dealership

In recent years, more and more dealerships are developing charity programs to donate cars to non-profit organizations and families in needed situations.

Even though it is not so common, many dealerships have chosen to help the community while fulfilling their corporate social responsibility with car donations; this practice also provides tax benefits for the dealership administration.

If you are looking for the best way to get a car donated from a dealership, keep reading this article.

Apply for a donated car

Car donation programs in dealerships are often directed to non-profit organizations, but sometimes they choose individuals or families in special situations to be beneficiated with a donated car.

The application process can be a laborious and time-consuming work, but if you have commitment and follow these steps, you can increase your chances to succeed.

  1. First, locate all the car dealerships from your local area and make a list. Bigger businesses are more likely to receive more solicitudes, so it could be a good idea to focus on the medium and small enterprises; many of them tend to give donations to their communities.
  2. Once you have the list, start checking which one has donation programs. Search for any online information, website, blog, or email address. Also, you can contact them by phone and ask for the manager to tell you whether if they have a  car donation program and how to apply for it.
  3. When you have that done, select the program that suits you better. Remember, if you apply to more than one, you will have more chances to continue the process if an application does not go through.

File the application

applying for a donated car

Another important thing that you need to find out when contacting the dealerships is the exact procedure to apply for the donated car.

Generally, many agencies request you to write a formal solicitude letter. If this is the case, make sure to ask what are the most relevant things you have to include.

Some others have online systems to file your application; be sure to have all your personal information and documents to support your case.

Make a follow-up

It can take some time after filing your application, so be patient. Within two or three weeks, if you do not get any reply, contact the dealership to check the progress of your request.

Be ready to provide any additional information that they may require. Discuss the important details of your case, and do not forget to mention how are you planning to create consciousness in the community thanks to their donation.

READ ALSO: How to transfer ownership of a car to a family member.

Determine the eligibility criteria

During the research process, and when contacting the car dealerships, you must get information on which is the criteria to select the beneficiaries of the program; this may vary depending on the agency.

For your convenience, here is a list of some recipients profiles:

  • Low-income families (that need a car for driving to school or work).
  • Abused women, and victims of domestic or other kinds of violence.
  • People with medical needs, disabilities, or physical conditions that are still able to drive a vehicle safely.
  • Families (with or without children) living in homeless shelters.
  • Rural workers and families.
  • Victims of natural disasters.
  • Military families, with member(s) on active duty.
  • Veterans.

Tips when presenting your case

No matter the format you use to present your application, there is normally a part where you have to describe your situation to be eligible for a car donation. Here are some tips:

  1. Before anything, be respectful and do not exaggerate your situation.
  2. Describe your struggles in an honest, specific, detailed way, and use a persuasive narrative.
  3. Include any complementary information about you, your children, and spouse (if any), such as: school, education, working history, current occupations, living status, any scholarship or citizenship award, and other things that may increase your opportunities.
  4. Be prepared to present evidence on any claim you make.

Other Options to get a car donated

How to get a car donated from a dealership

On the other hand, dealerships are not the only place where you can look. For example, sometimes car rentals donate part of their cars after renewing the fleet. Be sure to check different businesses in your area.

Also, different organizations are specifically dedicated to car donation programs. Here is a list with some of them:

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11 thoughts on How to get a car donated from a dealership

  1. Hi my name is John Smith I’m 57 years old and I live in Summerville Georgia I have PTSD from a home invasion ice pistol-whipped and robbed severe depression two heart attacks also hiv-positive from my tattoo at this present time I have congestive heart failure 30 pounds of fluid around my heart and a drink which I’m taking medication to try to get rid all the fluid. To make things worse I live in a trailer that on March 3rd 2021 the building inspector came and check the inside and outside of my trailer where I rent he saw several violations and is going to condemn the trailer so you need to look for a place to move or I’ll be on the streets I’m messaging you because I have my doctor’s appointments in Rome Georgia which is 30 miles away I can’t get there because I have no family or friends to take me my insurance company does not have coverage for my County I’m trying to find companies that donate cars to people my disabilities like myself current situation by myself because I may lose my Social Security benefits because I can’t go to the doctor. I lose my Social Security benefits I’ll lose my health insurance I won’t be able to take my medication for my heart or HIV and results of that of course would be death because I can’t take my medication the bottom line is I need to try to find company that will help me when they donate a car so I can get back and forth to the doctor grocery store go get my medication if you can help me out appreciate it so very much and if you can could you refer me to somebody that will I don’t know what I’m going to do everything is happening at once please help me if you can can you so much John f smith

  2. My name is samantha broussard I have a handy cap son he is 27 but his mind is like a 10 year old and I am always helping people take them to doctors stores I pray every night to get bless with a car can you’ll find a place in your hearts to help me I live in kaplan louisiana 305 north Frederick Avenue kaplan LA 70548 please think you my cellphone number is 3375175320

  3. Hello, I am Taylor and I am a victim of Human Trafficking and at a program that I can’t disclose but thoroughly interested in receiving a list of resources that help with getting a car. 🙂

  4. Hi im a victim of mentally an emotionally abuse which left me homeless me an my four year old daughter and my 12 year old son been homeless since February 2020 we got shelter February 11 2021 we quarantine in motel than on February 15 went straight to shelter we are running out of time we have about 15 more days left to be here we in need of a car the shelter is also trying to help me find car we all keep running in to dead ends please pray for us to get housing and a car we stay at the YWCA 1807 East wendover Avenue Greensboro nc 27405 an can be reached at (336)335-8489 thanks truly for listening

  5. I’m Homeless my x-family collected every time I got hurt My parents were living of me. I worked at a big Electric Company for over 151/2 years I got hurt on the job my family had a Doctor put me on about 15 medications. IThey fired me sent a letter too me I couldn’t comprehend it all I remember is $500 and some thousand my sister looked enough like me she got my money. I had to go on welfare and take Bankruptcy and had to givey trailer house up in the country. My sister even is getting my retirement that the electric company matched. I’m Homeless because I opened my mouth about it when I got off of all that medicine in 2016 the company had me drugged , raped , beaten among making me look like I’m crazy. They made me loose my car 2014 Ford Fusion so I sold my house got a car. I opened my mouth about my sister getting my money I on purpose had a blow out on driver’s side front blew the finder off and had to tape head light on. The DCF talked me into moving into the same town Friday my car got on fire in the motor and I have no way to go to Doctor or take my 3 dogs my kids any where. I need help please I will work for someone to help me. I mow yards, clean houses, detail cars or whatever I have to do to make it. I’m not giving up yet or ever. So people it’s a Great Life if you don’t weakin so as my Grandmother used to say. Hang in there just pray to God to help you!!!!!!

  6. Hi! My name is Jessica N. Ray. I reside in Calhoun , Ga. I am a single mother in between jobs. I worked at Kroger for a year and really thought I was going to stay there. Well long story short , once Kroger found out I was in a treatment center(methadone clinic), they started treating me different. I was in line to become the next shift manager. But when they found out about my past, They didnt want to give me a chance anymore. I have an interview this upcoming Tuesday at Cracker Barrell. Im praying this will work out because I am a single mother. My son is Christian Ray. I had him when I was 18 so its safe to say we grew up together. When Christian was 2 and a half, his sister, my daughter, passed away at 7 weeks old from SIDS. The doctors explained to me that her brain just forgot how to breath in the middle of the night. I had no one to support me at this tragic time. It was just me and my boy. Christian saved my life. Who knows where I would be without him. Hes 13 in the 7th grade and is just so s. mart. I thank god for him everyday. I have been clean now for 16 months almost 17. I got my son and i the perfect apartment in Calhoun. I had to get out of Rome, to get away from the temptations. God has brought me this far. i can afford my bills,( I used my stimulus money to pay ahead on my bills). I dont receive child support. havent received a payment in 2 years, and when i do get it , its only $70 a week. and this usually lasts for 2-3 weeks until his dad goes back to jail. So its only been Christian and I and i truly belive God got us through. If God can bring me out of the life of addiction and bless me with the most amazing son, then he could certainly point me in the direction of getting help with a car! Thanks so much for your time!

  7. Hi. Help for a single mother with three young sons in Saint Louis, Missouri 63118. My first son has severe asthma. My second son has skin lupus. My third son has SSI disability assistance. I need help where there is none. There’s no available resources in this town. I’ve tried every resource that I could during my online research. I have my boys out of homelessness within three months. I want to be the best mom during the worst time of my life. I’m doing the best that I can with what I have. I would love to be able to do everything but I know I am limited because of financial instability . Stephanie.campbell2012@gmail.com is my email. Please help me be the best mom ever to my sons. Thank you for being a listening ear. It’s nice to be able to have a little mental relief here and again.


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