Do you need a car, but can not afford to buy one? Are you living at or near the poverty line, or do you have a medical disability? Or do you just have a really moving story of how you fell on hard times? There are charities that give cars to people just like you.
Life without a car is tough. It takes hours longer to do simple errands, and you may have to organize your whole day around making the one bus that actually gets you to and from work.
If you meet certain income requirements, and fall into a certain category for the right charity (like you're a veteran, or you have diabetes, for example) you may be able to qualify to get a car that someone has donated. You'll have to do some very careful research, though. Most charities that accept donated cars do not actually give them to needy people -- they accept the donated car, and turn right around and sell the car at an auction. An auctioneer handles the car at the auction and collects all the money for it. Then the auctioneer takes their cut from whatever the donated car sold for, and gives the charity the remainder. Frequently, the charity ends up with 25% or less of the Kelly Blue Book value of the car. But it is an easy way for charities to have an extra income stream to support their work.
What you want to find is one of the charites that actually takes donated cars and either immediately gives them to needy people, or does some work on the car (or truck, or rv, or whatever) and then gives them to needy people. In all likihood, you'll also need to find a charity that is close to you -- within no more than a day's drive at most. Almost all charities that give out donated cars give them exclusively to people close by.
The best place to start is 1 800 Charity Cars. They are one of the few nationwide car donation charities that actually take donated cars and hand them over to real people who need them. Again, you'll need to be in an area where people are donating cars, but their network does reach across the nation. Your chances of getting a car from them are much higher if you fall into one of these categories:
- you or your family members are victims of domestic violence
- you are "medically needy"
- you are the victim of a natural disaster
- you and your family are trying to get off public assistance and get back to work
- you and your family are trying to get out of public housing and find a place of your own
- you qualify as among the "working poor" (check the 2009 poverty guidelines
to see if you qualify as "poor")
- you are part of a non-profit organization (Charity Cars generally works through other charities, but they do have their own program that gives cars directly to people)
- you are part of a military family
Continue to page two of how to get a donated car