How To Donate A Car in California | Best Charities To Donate To

Do you want to donate your car in California but you are having trouble doing so? Weep no more because we will tell you exactly how to donate a car in California in this article. We have done extensive research on making donations in California on things like for instance the best non-profits and charities to donate to.


Of course, there are a number of reasons you might want to donate a car in California. Perhaps you have an unwanted car that you have been trying to sell but you have been having difficulties finding a buyer. Or maybe you are in a giving mood and want to donate to a cause trying to help make the world a better place.

Regardless of the reason why, we will give you a concise, accurate guide on how to donate a car in California.

Steps to Donate A Car in California

Contrary to the common perception, donating a car in California is not very difficult. If you just follow our steps carefully, your car will be soon to leave your garage into that of a charity. All you need is alertness and to be sharp while you do the following.

Locate your beneficiary

Unfortunately, there are a lot of fraudsters who might want to trick you into giving them your car while they falsely front as a charity. So to avoid them, you have to carefully seek out a charity or non-profit organization that is reputable or whose cause you support.

Obviously, it is important to do this if you want your donation to have a meaningful impact. Another reason is that if you give the vehicle to a fraudster, the donation will not be tax-deductible.

Confirm donation will be tax deductible

This step is important if you want to include the donation on your tax returns. Be sure to verify that the organization you are donating to is recognized by the IRS as being able to receive tax-deductible donations. To that end, you can confirm this by checking the Pub. 78 data with the IRS search tool here.

Assemble relevant documentation

Of course, donating a car isn’t just about physically transferring the car to a charity. You also need to transfer legal ownership of the car to them too.

Generally, you might only need to hand over the signed title. Hovewer, you may be asked for additional information like the car’s make and model, the vehicle identification number and the current mileage.

Price your car

Another thing is to find your car’s fair market value son you can get an estimate of what your tax deduction will be. You can use the Kelley Blue Book as a starting point for discovering the fair market value.

Schedule the pickup

Communicate witb the organization to establish when they will pick up the car. For the sake of convenience, most organizations will perform pickups for free.

File your donation receipt

Keep your donation receipt safely. That is because you will need it to claim a tax deduction, that will equal the price the organization sold it for.

SEE ALSO: Donate Cars to Illinois | Top Companies You Can Donate Cars to Charity

Best Charities to Donate

Habitat for humanity

This is a Christian charity with the mission of helping people construct housing all over the world. It accepts donations of all kinds of vehicles e.g. cars, motorcycles, farm equipment. If you would like to donate to Habitat of Humanity, visit here.

The Salvation Army

This famous charity also accepts vehicle donations. To clarify, the sell the vehicles and use the proceeds to fund charity programs like disaster relief, homeless shelters, job training and many more. This Salvation Army webpage guides you on finding vehicle donation services near you.


One of the best charities to donate to because of its transparency and efficiency. Although you can’t just drop off a car at a donation centre, they still accept vehicles as donations. You can donate your car to them by filling the vehicle donation firm at

Make-A-Wish Foundation

This charity committed to granting requests from young children with a critical illness and uplifting them also accepts car donations. Visit the Wheels For Wishes page to donate to fulfilling a young child’s dream.

Donate For Charity

If you don’t find the previously mentioned charities to your taste, then visit Donate for Charity. It is an organization in California that is affiliated with over 200 non-profit organizations and charities nationwide. Furthermore, they are committed to maximizing “both the size of your charity contribution and the amount of your tax deduction”.

SEE ALSO: Donating a Car in Maryland | Online Donation for Humanity Metro Maryland

Extra Info To Donate A Car in California

Of course, you will need to deal with a little paperwork when you donate your car. You have to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that you have donated your car to a charity. Further, you have to do it within five days after donating the car.

But don’t worry, the process is relatively hassle-free. You can learn more about it at this DMV webpage.

So now you know all there is to know about how to donate a car in California. We commend you on making the decision to do so and sure enough, the recipients amd beneficiaries of your donation will appreciate your generosity.


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