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How to Donate A Car in California

How to Donate A Car in California

What is the best charity to donate a car in California?

Goodwill Car Donations is proud to be the best place to donate a car for tax credit in California.

How To Donate A Car In California

Are you looking to donate a car in California? Look no further as this guide will explain all the necessary steps to complete a successful donation in the Golden State. Donating a car can be beneficial to both the donor and the charity receiving the vehicle, so let’s take a look at how you can donate your car in California.

Understanding the Car Donation Process

Before you get started, it is important to understand the entire car donation process. Generally, it will take anywhere between two to six weeks before the transaction is completed and the vehicle is handed over to the recipient charity.

First, you will need to reach out to a qualified 501(c)3 charity that is certified to accept car donations. You can use a helpful car donation charity web search to quickly find organizations near you.

After you submit the required paperwork and arrange for pickup of your vehicle, the charity organization will take possession of the car, and you will receive a receipt for your records. Depending on their policies, the charity will either use the vehicle for their needs or sell it in order to fund their mission.

How to Donate A Car in California
How to Donate A Car in California

Steps to Donate Your Car in California

Now that you understand the car donation process, let’s take a look at the steps for donating a car in California.

Step 1: Find a Qualified Car Donation Charity

The first step when donating a car is to find a qualified charity that is legitimately certified to accept such donations. It is important to research the charity’s mission and the impacts they have in your local community. Additionally, be sure to double check their accreditations to ensure they are legally authorized by the IRS to accept car donations.

Step 2: Gather Necessary Documents

Once you have identified the right charity, you will need to gather the relevant documentation and information needed to complete the donation. This includes the title of the car, driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Also, make sure you have the title signed and notarized so that you can legally transfer the ownership cab to the charity.

Step 3: Arrange Pickup Of the Vehicle

Now that everything is ready, contact the car donation charity and let them know you are ready to donate the vehicle. The organization will help you arrange for pickup of the car and provide instructions for towing the vehicle if necessary. Once they have received the car, they will provide you with a receipt for your donation.

Keep in mind that depending on the laws in your area, you may need to pay a fee for towing the car before the charity receives it. Additionally, if you provide the charity with the keys and the vehicle registration, you may be able to get additional tax deductions.

Step 4: Claim Tax Deduction

Now that you have donated the car to a qualifying charity and received a written acknowledgement from the organization, you can use it to deduct expenses from your taxes.

If you donated a car that was worth more than $500, the charity must provide you with law-required forms. This includes Form 8283, which you will need to attach to your tax return form in order to claim your deduction.

How to Donate A Car in California
How to Donate A Car in California

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Kind Of Car Donations Are Accepted?

Most qualified car donation charities accept cars, trucks, boats, RVs, trailers, and other motor vehicles. However, some organizations may have specific regulations on the types of vehicles they accept. It is important to contact the charity directly to know if your vehicle will qualify.

2. Are All My Expenses Tax Deductible?

If the car you donated is valued at more than $500 and the charity is federally approved, you can claim the fair market value of the vehicle as a tax deduction. Be sure to save all the paperwork from the donation to use when filing your taxes.

3. Can I Donate A Car If I Don’t Have The Title?

In most cases, you can still donate your vehicle even if you don’t have the title. However, it is best to check with the charity to ensure you can still donate the car without the title.


Donating a car to a qualified charity in California can be an immensely rewarding experience. It helps the charity achieve their mission while providing the donor with a few tax benefits. Make sure to do your research and follow the steps to ensure the donation process goes smoothly.

For more information on donating a car in California, visit Charity Dispatch or

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