In the United States, there are several free cars programs for low-income people. The vast majority of them are run by non-profit organizations that receive donated cars. These are repaired and provided to people with low or very low incomes.
Next, we will show you all the free car programs for low-income people. Then, we will give you some alternatives to get free cars. And finally, we will finish by telling you how to donate a car in the USA and where to do it.
FreeCharityCars, also known as 1-800-Charity, is an organization that provides free cars to people in need. According to the institution’s guidelines, families in need are considered based on their income. In this sense, a family of four members should not earn more than $40,000 per year to be eligible.
In addition to this, the organization usually prioritizes certain profiles. In this sense, people who have been victims of domestic violence, those who need a car for medical reasons, survivors of natural disasters, families living in shelters or transitional housing, veterans and their families, and people from low income working.
Now, you should keep in mind that FreeCharityCars receives many applications. For this reason, they are not always open to requests. However, it is good that you check their website periodically to see when they are open.
Regardless, 1-800 Charity Cars offers free towing and repairs to donated cars. In this way, the beneficiaries will have functional cars that do not need too many expenses. In case they receive a car that does not work, they usually sell it or repair it before giving it away.
Cars4Christmas is an organization that seeks to provide free basic transportation to as many individuals as possible. Normally, the organization focuses on people who have difficulties, such as illness, or disability, or who have experienced a natural disaster. However, they are open to all low-income people.
Now, you must take into account that the organization receives more than 20,000 applications a year. And during this time, they usually receive about 20 vehicles. That means that the possibilities are not exactly high. However, it is recommended that you apply. Perhaps your story will impact a private donor.
To apply to this program, you must fill in your personal data and the reason why you need a car. This will remain in the system for three years. If you haven’t heard back by then, you can reapply.
Cars4Heroes is managed by the same organization that operates Cars4Heroes. The only difference is that this branch focuses primarily on helping veterans, active military, police, and firefighters, as well as their families. The idea is to provide them with a means of transportation in case they cannot pay for it themselves.
To apply to Cars4Heroes, applicants must fill out an application stating all of their personal information, where they served, the reason a vehicle is needed, and other relevant information. And like the previous organization, the application is valid for 3 years. After this time, you can apply again.
Wheels4Hope is an institution that seeks to provide safe, reliable, and accessible vehicles to people who really need them. However, not all people can be benefited. To be eligible, you must receive a referral from an agency associated with the organization, such as Triangle Agencies or Triad Agencies.
If the screening institutions find you eligible, they will refer you to Wheels4Hope. There, you will have to attend an orientation session. In this short course, they will teach you all about the program, as well as basic vehicle maintenance information, insurance, the car’s VIN number, and more.
Once you have completed the orientation, you will need to pay $500 for the car. This amount will cover all associated expenses, such as the transfer of title, taxes, and other aspects. Finally, you will be able to receive your car at an event where you will be given the keys.
Online Car Donation is on a mission to provide free vehicles to as many needy families as possible. Therefore, this can be a great option to get a reliable car. You may also receive a truck or van, and they sometimes give modified vehicles to people with disabilities.
According to what the organization indicates, the donations are focused on people who cannot buy a car for themselves, either due to an economic or physical situation, and who have not contributed to the creation of their situation. In addition, people who are taking positive steps to improve their circumstances are prioritized.
To apply for a free cart with onlinecardonation.com, you must go to their website (shown in the title link). Then, you have to fill out the application as much as you can so they can make a decision. After 30 days of submitting your application, they will notify you of their decision. If you don’t receive an email, you have to reapply again to be reconsidered.
Although the name of this organization resembles the alternative above, it is another option. Onlinecardonation.org is associated with the With Causes network and provides cars to people in need. However, they give priority to victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities, homeless families, and veterans and their families.
The application process is simple. You have to enter their web page (you can do it in the title link) and fill in the biographical information. In addition, you have to describe in detail the reason for your need. At the end, your data will be verified by the staff and they will determine if they can help you or not.
Like the previous alternative, this platform should contact you within 30 days. In case they do not answer you, you must reapply. This way, they can reconsider you later.
The With Causes organization offers support to a wide variety of people, including the homeless, veterans, and victims of domestic abuse. In the “Ask for Help” section of their website, there is a form where you can apply and explain your situation in detail.
If you need a car, this institution could help you. You just have to fill in your details and let them know how a car would improve your situation. If you do, you will have to wait for them to respond. Otherwise, you can reapply 30 days later.
Vehicles for Change is a charitable organization that partners with social service agencies. Their goal is to help people who want to be self-sufficient find a vehicle and job opportunities. As a result, it could be a valid alternative if you want a free car.
However, Vehicles for Change often have a lot of requirements. Next, we present them to you.
- Have a verifiable job offer or work more than 30 hours a week
- Have a valid driver’s license in the state of residence
- Have no DWIs or DUIs on your driving record
- Have the money to pay taxes, tags, and title
- Being able to afford car maintenance
Vehicles for Change also participates in a car program for people receiving benefits from employment and social service agencies. Through this benefit, low-income families can receive a guarantee on a low-interest loan. In this way, you could obtain a vehicle loan more easily. However, this program is not open to the general public. An agency must apply on your behalf.
Good News Garage is an organization that provides free cars to low-income people living in Massachusetts and Vermont. However, eligibility requirements vary by specific area. In this sense, it is best to check the criteria of your state to qualify.
Good News Garage also operates the JumpStart program. Through this benefit, the organization reconditions and donates vehicles to workers at an affordable and subsidized cost. This program was created to help people who do not qualify for the Wheels to Work program and you can apply through their website.
On the other hand, you can take a look at the “Other Transportation Resources” section on their website. There, you will see links to other institutions that will help you find free and affordable transportation options.
Working Cars for Working Families works closely with the National Consumer Law Center to help workers get a car. In addition, this institution has alliances with more than 120 non-profit organizations to achieve its mission. In this sense, you can resort to this entity to get a vehicle.
Now, you should keep in mind that this organization only provides information. They have a large enough database to help you get a car. However, they will not provide it to you themselves. They will simply see your case and recommend the site where you should apply.
The GoFundMe platform can be another way to get a car. Through this page, you can get donations that will allow you to get closer to your goal. If you have a successful campaign, you might even get a free car.
If you feel comfortable telling your story, you can share how you got to these difficult times. Then focus on how having a car can help you. However, you must honestly say what the impact of a car will be on your life. After all, you don’t want to take advantage of people’s generosity.
Although GoFundMe is the most popular platform for asking for donations, it is not the only one. There are other sites that ask for donations and scholarships. However, you must ensure that you read all the requirements before submitting your application.
Social networks are a tool that allows you to get closer to almost anyone. This is why we have to include it in this list. If you have not been able to get a free car through another means, this may be an option. The idea is that you look for gift cars on social networks. For this, you can use the filters provided and keywords such as free cars.
Similarly, this can be a way to get closer to relevant people. In our guide on how to ask millionaires for financial help, we show you how. However, we anticipate that you can try to explain your case to people who have a lot of money. If you’re lucky and they listen to you, you could get a free car.
Find a job where they offer you a car
Although you would have to search very well, there are jobs that provide you with a vehicle. Best of all, a few even let you use it for personal reasons. Some examples may be service and cable technicians, delivery drivers, and some social workers.
If you find a job with this perk, be sure to check with your employer for personal use rules. For example, find out if you can take your car out of state, who is responsible for maintenance, gas, and tolls, or if you can take passengers. In short, they must have very clear points.
Ask a local dealer for a donation
Car dealerships do not usually donate cars directly to individuals. However, there is a small chance that you will be given a car that does not sell much if you share your situation. You can do this by delivering a letter directly to the manager and explaining your circumstances in detail.
One recommendation is that you do it during the Christmas season. At this time people tend to feel more sensitive and charitable. In addition, this could represent a significant tax deduction for the company and advertising. In the end, it could represent a win for all parties.
Ask in a car park
Car yards near you hold auctions when people don’t claim their vehicles. Thanks to this, you could buy a cheaper used car. And while cars that are in good shape can cost $27,500 on average, junkie cars can be cheaper.
If you ask in a car yard, you could get a good discount if you get an owner to sell a car urgently. In fact, we know people who have been able to buy used cars for $1,500.
Then, in case you need to repair the car, you can buy the parts at a Yonke. This will save you money on parts and therefore you will have a car in good condition for a fraction of the price. Here’s where to get a Yonke near you.
junkie near me
Talk to a family member or friend
If you’re having trouble getting a car, it’s always a good idea to ask your friends and family for help. Of course, asking them for family cars can be a lot, but they may be able to lend you some money or sell you a vehicle for a better price. If they say no, you can at least hitch a ride once in a while.
If you’re good at fixing cars, you could offer to fix someone’s old car. To pay you, they might sell it to you at a reduced price. You could also buy it cheap beforehand and repair it yourself.
Ask at your local church
Many local churches have benevolence budgets or receive donated cars. Thanks to this, churches can help people who need a car, either because theirs stopped working or because they have never owned one. Regardless of your situation, you should ask and see if you have any luck.
Of course, you should keep in mind that this alternative works best for people who are usually involved with the church. Otherwise, you can always ask for other types of help, which would leave you with a higher percentage of income available for a vehicle.
Apply for a government car program
Although government car programs are not designed to offer free vehicles, you can get the help that will allow you to access recurring expenses related to your car. Next, we are going to mention some of the government assistance programs that can offer you this benefit.
Government incentives for buying new cars
The US government has provided a tax incentive to encourage the purchase of electric cars. Thanks to this, electric car owners can get up to $7,500. However, this benefit will not last forever. According to the law, there will also be a progressive disappearance of this aid.
The idea is to provide the maximum amount for the purchase of manufacturers that sell less than 200,000 units. After this period, the benefit amount will be $3,750. Then, it will be reduced to 25% of the initial amount until it disappears completely.
It is for this reason that buyers of Tesla models obtained this benefit. However, there are still other brands that you can buy. We will see them in the following table.
|New electric cars with tax incentive|
Now, these are just some of the models that have the benefit. There are many others that you could access. If you want to know all the details about it, we recommend that you see our guide on Electric Cars in the USA.
How to donate a car?
The easiest way to donate your car is by calling an organization or filling out an online car donation form. The charity will make all the arrangements to pick up the car or they may arrange for you to drop it off at a specific location. As a result, they will give you a receipt that you can use to prepare your tax return.
Finally, make sure you donate to efficient and transparent charities. Today, there are many charities, but not all of them specialize in car donations. In this sense, you should look for one who knows how to receive it and who knows how to make the best possible use of the donation.
Where can I donate my old car?
If you have an old car, you can donate it for tax benefits. However, you must be careful how and to whom you donate it. If you do it in any of the organizations above, the vehicle will be provided to people who need it.
However, this is not the only alternative. There are many others that sell them to finance their own objectives. Below, we show you some of the most recognized non-profit organizations to where you can donate your car.
The Salvation Army or Salvation Army is one of the largest non-profit organizations in the United States. For this reason, it is the first on our list. Your work really makes an impact, especially for the most vulnerable and needy people.
Best of all, the Salvation Army accepts donated vehicles at select locations. These are sold to fund various important programs, such as natural disaster relief, homeless shelters, food banks, veteran services, and more.
If you want to donate your vehicle, it is best to go to the Salvation Army website. On this platform, you just have to enter your zip code and the same system will tell you where to donate your vehicle near you.
Although Goodwill doesn’t accept cars at all of its donation centers, the charity does accept them through its website. According to what the same institution indicates, you can donate cars, RVs, boats, motorcycles, and many others. The organization then sells them and uses the money to finance its services.
According to CharityWatch, Goodwill Industries International has an “A” financial rating, with A+ being the highest and F the lowest. As the organization has observed, Goodwill only spends $2 for every $100 it collects. This makes it one of the most reliable institutions in the country.
To donate your old car, you must fill out the vehicle donation form that has been opened for this purpose. If you prefer more face-to-face service, you can call 855-980-0171. There, you can schedule an appointment to pick up the vehicle and give you a receipt.
Ronald McDonald House Charities
This is another organization that receives donations of cars, boats, RVs, and other vehicles. Ronald McDonald House Charities often sells them and uses the money to help families who need lodging while their children are hospitalized.
According to CharityWatch, RMHC’s national office has an “A” rating. Plus, this organization only spends $9 for every $100 raised. In this sense, we can say that it is quite safe.
You can donate your old car to Ronald McDonald House Charities by visiting their website. You can also call 855-227-7435. By doing so, Charitable Adult Rides & Services will pick up the vehicle at no cost and provide you with the necessary documentation so that you can deduct the contribution from your taxes.
Habitat for Humanity
This organization accepts donations of cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs, boats, farm equipment, and much more. The vehicles are typically sold or recycled to raise funds to support the charity’s mission. The goal is to provide safe and affordable housing to families in need.
According to the latest data from CharityWatch, this organization spends $27 to raise every $100. As a result, they have quite effective financing practices. This has given them a grade of “B” on a scale of A+ to F.
If you want to donate your old car to this organization, you can do so through the Car Donation Wizard. You can also call 877-277-4344 to provide your vehicle information and schedule pickup.