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How to Get a Used Car from a Charity

Many charities offer cars to help those who have fallen on hard times. Here's how to find a charity that may be able to help you.


  • Step 1: Go online Go online and research the possibilities. Create a list of charities in your area that accept car donations and look them up online.
  • TIP: Some charities cater to specific demographics including victims of domestic violence, military families, and the disabled. Contact the organization directly and let them know your situation if you fit into one of these groups.
  • Step 2: Make sure you qualify Make sure you qualify for the charity's free car. Provide proof of need and income, and have a clean driving and criminal record as well as proof that you'll be able to pay the insurance.
  • TIP: Be aware of scams. Some organizations purport to be charities, but are actually looking to profit from donated vehicles -- research any potential charities.
  • Step 3: Ask your church Ask your church or religious organization for help. A member may be looking to donate for the tax write off, or your place of worship might direct you to another charity that provides free cars to the needy.
  • Step 4: Contact Goodwill Check with your local Goodwill office and get information to see if you qualify for the organization's Wheels to Work program. Participants may be required to meet certain criteria.
  • Step 5: Be persistent Be persistent in your search. Each organization may have different requirements in their qualification process. If you're able to get a car in this manner, you've saved yourself a huge financial liability.
  • FACT: Founded in 1902, Goodwill Industries is now a $3.2 billion nonprofit enterprise.

You Will Need

  • Internet access
  • Proof of need
  • Statement of your income
  • Copy of your driving record
  • Proof of insurance
  • Patience

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