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Buying a new car can be extremely stressful. Between all of the decision making (what make, model, color, accessories) and research (where to buy, how much on a down payment), you have to figure out what to do with your old car. Yes, there is always the option of trading-in your old car to the dealership to knock down the price of your new one but, more often than not, you are going to receive less on your trade-in than if you sold the car yourself. And really, who is that helping, the dealership?

Have you ever considered donating your used vehicle to charity? That’s right, there are a ton of charities that accept used vehicles, and many bonuses to donating. For one, you are giving to a charity. That should be enough, but if it’s not, most charity’s offer a tax deduction for the FMV (Fair Market Value) of the vehicle. And better yet, it just takes a phone call and a little paperwork. The charity will pick your vehicle up from your home, free of charge. After that, all you have to do is fill out a tax form in order to receive you deduction.

Another advantage to donating your car is that you are keeping it out of the junkyard for a little while longer. This keeps all the fluids (gas, oil, coolant, brake fluid, etc), that would otherwise be released into our environment, still in use in that vehicle.  It also saves landfill-bound materials (at least for right now), such as carpeting, plastics, seat cushion, and rubber parts from being sent to an early grave.

There are, however, a few things to look into before choosing a charity to donate to.  For example, how much of your donation is actually going to the charity? There are numerous for-profit middlemen who offer to help you donate your car. These organizations have been know to take anywhere from 50 percent to 90 percent of the worth of the vehicle. To prevent this from happening, contact a charity of your choice and ask them if they can accept the vehicle directly. This ensures that the charity is getting 100 percent of the donation. If you cannot find a charity that handles those types of transactions, you can always donate to a reputable charity like the Red Cross.

When the time comes to buy a new car and your stuck with that old junker sitting in your driveway, consider donating it to a charity. It’s a simple way to make a difference, put some money in your pocket, and help our planet all at the same time!

– Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.