Donating a Car
December 6, 2004 7:51 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to get rid of my old car and I'd like to donate it, but google searches for anything remotely related seem to be gamed by just a couple organizations. If anyone knows of a Portland or Oregon based charity picking up and accepting cars, care to share them with me? I'm leaning towards charities that deal with health issues, animals, and teens (being areligious, I would lean toward secular charities).
posted by mathowie to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total)
Matt, this site has links to many different charities that will take your car.

Good luck, we donated one last year and it was pretty cool.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:01 PM on December 6, 2004

Your NPR station will take your car as well.
posted by fionab at 8:02 PM on December 6, 2004

Not actually sure if KPLU is in Oregon or not. KMHD (jazz, blues, NPR) and Oregon Public Broadcasting want your car too!
posted by fionab at 8:11 PM on December 6, 2004

Here's a list specific to Portland
posted by milkrate at 8:13 PM on December 6, 2004

Kars4Kids in Portland doesn't look like it's affiliated with any sort of religion either.
posted by fionab at 8:16 PM on December 6, 2004

I gave mine to the American Lung Association last year. Painless. They came and picked it up from my house. All I had to do was transfer the title to them. They have a site at My only concern was the paperwork they sent back with a very high assessed value for the car. Since the IRS is cracking down on this kind of deduction I would stick with a conservative estimate from one of the many Internet sites offering bluebook type values.
posted by caddis at 8:17 PM on December 6, 2004

Awesome, OPB should be perfect for this, thanks!
posted by mathowie at 8:40 PM on December 6, 2004

KPLU is in Tacoma, so it would be a bit of a haul (I'm guessing the vehicle's not working) from Portland to Tacoma.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 10:05 PM on December 6, 2004

Matt, make sure you go to the DMV and transfer title the day of the transaction. It's a simple form and you don't need anyone else's signature on it, just your own and the name of the accepting party.

I've lost count of the number of friends/family who have 'donated' a car and, two or three weeks later, been dunned by their local or state highway agency anywhere from $200-$1500 for disposal of the stripped chassis. Of all of them, only Mom had the wit to transfer title, and as a result she was immediately able to get them off their back by providing a copy of the recently-submitted form.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:20 PM on December 6, 2004

My boyfriend donated his car to Volunteers of America about two years ago in Portland. They towed it for him, gave him the appropriate IRS form partially filled out, and everything went well with the title transfer.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 10:46 PM on December 6, 2004

The IRS told Congress on Vehicle Donation Programs:

The GAO estimated that about 4,300 charities have vehicle donation programs; about 733,000 taxpayers claimed deductions for donated vehicles they valued at $500 or more. [But] the charity actually received less than 10% of the value claimed on the donor’s return in more than half the cases, and actually lost money on some vehicles.

IRS urges caution in vehicle donations. After 12/31/04, taxpayers will be limited to deducting the gross sale price rather than the fair market value. This brochure also indicates steps taxpayers should take when making this decision, such as checking out the program, and ensuring they will be able to itemize.
posted by dhartung at 11:00 PM on December 6, 2004

See responses to my similar question.

FWIW, I ended up not donating it. The tax benefits are fairly minimal with new rules, the research I did dug up the fact that many charities don't give the car to someone who needs it. They often sell the car and use the money to fund opearting costs, etc. Which is still ok but perhaps not what you have in mind.
posted by jeremias at 4:39 AM on December 7, 2004 is my choice, based on their only slightly annoying radio commercials. Also, their web site is pleasant.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:36 AM on December 7, 2004

Late to the party as always. We donated a van to the Oregon Humane Society. Depending on the vehicle they may actually use the vehicle, or sell it for the operating income, as jeremias indicates.
posted by cairnish at 11:22 AM on December 7, 2004

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