Valentine’s Day Inspired Car Donations

donate a red car

This Valentine’s Day, we thank all of our donors who have lovingly donated a vehicle to one of Car Donation Wizard’s amazing charities over the years.

We do not take it lightly that for some households, a car donation may be the single largest charitable gift made during the year, or ever. This is all the more reason to make sure that the donation you make is being used for the greatest charitable benefit. We strive to earn your charity the most money and you the largest tax deduction for your donation. Call us anytime (855-957-2277) to talk about the average proceeds we return (around 80% of every vehicle sold go back to the charity) and how that organization uses the proceeds (renovating or rebuilding homes with Habitat, cancer research with American Cancer Society, school-in-a-box kits for UNICEF, and more!). We hope you’ll share your experience donating with us and even consider volunteering with your charity to really see how your car donation dollars are being used.

Happy Valentines Day!

Cool 70’s Car Donations

This 1973 Chevrolet Beauville sport van donated in support of Car Talk. This car was lovingly driven 365,000 miles before being donated.

This 1974 Aro Aerolite was donated in support of Public Radio.

This 1975 brightly colored, neon green Volkswagen Beetle was donated in support of the American Cancer Society through the Cars for a Cure program.

This cool golden 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass was donated in support of Habitat for Humanity in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.


The First Affordable Automobile: 1926 Ford Model TT

This generously donated Ford Model TT from the height of the Roaring ‘20s is a beautifully restored example of the legendary automobile.

There are so many historical and industrial milestones surrounding the Model TT that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Over 15 million units were produced by the end of the vehicle’s 19-year production run, a record that held for 45 years after. Perhaps only the Volkswagen Beetle comes close to the ubiquity and iconic status of the Model TT .

Perhaps the Model TT speaks most to visionary founder Henry Ford’s all-encompassing formula of making the highest possible quality product, in the most efficient manner possible, for sale at most competitive price possible, all the while compensating his employees with the highest wages possible. Ford pushed every boundary in making and selling the Model TT , and basically everyone won as a result. It was a chain reaction: innovative practices inspired competitors, competition drove prices down and wages up, employees were rewarded well, customers were continually given a quality product in exchange for affordable price, and Ford’s empire was solidified for the ages.

The Model TT was so accessible to the average American that the price actually dropped every year during the production run. This is unheard of, especially in today’s market when seemingly all prices – especially car prices – seem to tick up with the blink of an eye. In 1908 the Model T cost $850, or around $21,340 in today’s dollars when adjusted for inflation. In 1916, the prices had dropped to only $360 for the most basic Model T, or around $7,020 in today’s dollars. In 2012, the least expensive new car is $10,990. Henry Ford still has us beat.

Although earlier Model T cars were available in a variety of colors, by 1914 Ford insisted they all be painted black. By 1918, half the cars on the road in the U.S. were Model T’s.

The Model TT represents the best of American industry, when goods were still manufactured here and everybody benefited. The market took care of itself. Seeing this restored example is mindful of great ideas and innovations, despite the car itself being a relatively simple mechanism. The key was in the way it was produced and marketed. Now that it’s being donated, we’re also mindful of generosity and charity as well.

Other cool donated cars:

Animal Striped Miata

1958 Lyman Boat

1990 Buick Reatta


Holiday Inspired Car Donations

donate a green car

This 2001 green Mazda Miata was generously donated in Allentown, NJ to Car Talk’s WFYI radio station.

donate a red and white car

This 1998 red and white Ford F150 was generously donated in Maize, KS to Habitat for Humanity’s Cars for Homes program.

Silver and Blue Donated Car

This 1996 silver and blue two-toned Chevrolet G20 Bonaventure Van was generously donated in Norman, OK to the American Cancer Society’s Cars for a Cure program.

donate an rv to charity 4

This 1994 blue and white Holiday Rambler Illumilite RV was generously donated in New York, NY to Habitat for Humanity’s Cars for Homes program.

donate a car to charity 15

This 1985 Mercedez-Benz 300 was generously donated in Harrisburg, PA to Car Talk’s WITF radio station.

End of the Year Tax Deduction Information for Your Car Donation

For some households, a car donation may be the single largest charitable gift made during the year, or ever. This is all the more reason to make sure that the donation is being used for the greatest charitable benefit and that you can take full advantage of any potential tax deduction.

In order to take a tax deduction for donating a car, boat or other vehicle, there are a number of other things you should keep in mind. First verify that the recipient organization is tax exempt as a charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. To verify that a charity is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable gifts, you can do one or more of the following. See if the organization is listed in IRS Publication 78, the Cumulative List of Organizations, which is likely to be available at most large public libraries. Visit the online version of IRS Publication 78 at Or, ask the organization for a copy of its tax exempt status determination letter. (Note that churches are not required to apply for exempt status, and may not have such a letter or be included in the mentioned IRS publication. A car donation to a church, however, would still be deductible.)

If the organization is a charity, you can deduct only the fair market value of your car donation. In other words, this is the price the car would sell for today in its current condition. If the used car is not in good condition and needs significant repairs, don’t believe promotional promises that claim you will be able to get “top value” for your car donation based on one of the latest published guides that show the average regional prices for various used cars. If you are claiming that the car is worth $5,000 or more, you will need to get an official outside appraisal in order to substantiate the claimed value for the IRS.

Also, if you are claiming a car donation of $500 or above, you will need to complete and attach IRS Form 8283 to your tax return. For your records, you also will need proof that you made a charitable gift. The best evidence is to transfer the title of the car to the charity and keep a copy of this document. This title change also will help you avoid potential problems that can occur if the car is somehow parked illegally by the organization or is involved in an accident or other mishap before the charity is able to resell the vehicle.

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