Car Talk Legend Tom Magliozzi Dies at 77

We are sad to hear that much loved Car Talk radio personality Tom Magliozzi  passed away yesterday from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, he was 77 years old.
Tom brought joy and humor to millions across the nation. Both Tom and Ray have provided their listeners with countless years of laughter, knowledge and comradery. We see the massive impact Tom had on his listeners through all of the enthusiastic and humorous Car Talk vehicle donors .  
We are a proud partner of Car Talk and our deepest condolences go out to Tom’s Family, to Ray and to all of the wonderful Car Talk staff. 
The guest book posted on the Car Talk website clearly shows the love, respect and admiration Tom’s fans had for him. Here are some of our favorite ones:
“Sad day for me. I listened until they ended the new shows and now listen everyday on XM Radio. He was my inspiration for bad jokes. He will be missed by all.” – Rocky Russell Rock Island UK
“Today’s puzzler: why do good people so often have to go too soon? My heartfelt condolences”.- Andrew Merkle Ithaca NY
“Thank you for years of laughter and “driveway moments.”-Jessica G.Dallas TX
“65 years old and I’m sitting here crying. What an absolute joy of a person to have had on this planet. Listening to that laugh was such a wonderful way to start the weekend. My thoughts are with Ray and the entire family”. -Steve Gogolya Bonita Springs, FL
“Tom always seemed to be having a good time. Wish we could all master that skill”.-Dave C. Arlington,Va
“RIP Tom. Your laugh will forever echo in the minds of us car nuts!” -Tom Littlerock,AR
From all of the staff here, we offer Tom’s family and friends our heartfelt condolences and like many others, are so grateful for Tom’s life and all of the joy he brought into ours. 


Video: Car Talk Vehicle Donation – What To Look For

Our friends over at Car Talk made a short video to help demystify vehicle donation. They go over three important questions you need to ask before donating your vehicle. Get advice straight from Click and Clack on how to make sure you’re car donation is efficiently sold earning your station the most money! Start your car donation to Car Talk now….

You can also click here to watch the video.


Car Talk: How a Motorhome Became “Morning Edition”

An Alaskan adventure, a grand tour of national parks and a trip down the California coast. This Coachmen Santara has been places! It’s taken Doug Van Solkema and family from Escondido, CA, all around the country. According to Doug, traveling in the camper means, “Safe travel and an incredible experience. The vacation really begins when you leave your driveway.”

“Sweetie, I think we made a wrong turn in Chicago. I don’t see any beaches.” (Flickr photo by YGX)
Now this camper is going to take all the listeners at KPBS, San Diego, to new places, too. How? It’s being turned into great radio!
That’s because Doug’s family decided to donate it to KPBS. “Over the years we have greatly appreciated KPBS and their quality programming,” Doug says. And now the $5,650 in proceeds from the sale of Doug’s camper will go directly to supporting the programming that the family has enjoyed all these years.

How was the donation process? “My in-laws suggested using the Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program. It was a very easy process,” Doug says.

Just goes to show that in-laws aren’t wrong all the time.

Can’t wait to get on the road again.


Vehicle Donation Sleight of Hand? When the Donation Company Runs the Auction

How do you know that your donated vehicle will be sold for the best price possible? Good question—and it’s hard to figure out the answer sometimes.

To sort through the issues, Car Talk recently spoke with Joe Hearn, the President and CEO of Advanced Remarketing Services (ARS), the company that handles the title transfer and sale of each vehicle that comes in through Car Talk Vehicle Donation Services.

Here’s a glimpse behind the scenes—and a few things every donor should consider before offering to donate a vehicle… and every charity should mull over, before selecting a vehicle donation partner.

Joe Hearn, President & CEO of Advanced Remarketing Services, answers questions about how donated vehicles are sold.

Car Talk: How do vehicle donation companies sell the cars they receive?

Joe: Most companies sell the vehicles through just one or two routes, such as an auction or a dismantler—that’s because many of the current vehicle donation vendors started out as auction houses and launched new subsidiaries that now handle donated cars. Vehicle donation is a means for them to get more cars into their system.

Car Talk: It’s another way for them to acquire cars?

Joe: Exactly. And, of course, they pocket more money that way. How do I know? I used to work for one of them! I worked for one of the largest auction houses in the country—they’re behind one of the more recent vehicle donation vendors in public broadcasting, too. (I’ll be polite, though, and not mention their name!)

Car Talk: So, we get a glimpse behind the scenes. What was it like working for them?

Joe: It was difficult because it’s hard for any one company to be good at a lot of things. Auction houses are very good at rounding up buyers and running their own auctions. But it’s very difficult to be good at taking care of donors or assuring top sale price when that’s just not your primary business.

They want their cars to go to their auction. So, only under very rare circumstances would they ever pull a donated car and sell it on eBay, for example. I found that frustrating. It’s not to the advantage of either the charity or the donor. However, it’s great for the vendor. He can collect fees from both the charity and the buyer!

There are pricing games that some other companies play too, that make the fees to the charity look lower.

Car Talk: Can you share an example?

Joe: Well, you might get an auction report that will show you how much the buyer bid on a vehicle. But it won’t show you the true sale price, because the buyer is mentally calculating his auction costs into his bid.

Car Talk: How is that a game?

Joe: Because the costs still come out of the purchase price of the vehicle. But the charity never sees that cost. It’s obscured. A service like ours shows you the true sale price, and all the fees.

When you compare the true costs, our overall fees are lower and revenue collected is higher. Their overall returns are substantially lower.

Car Talk: How’s a donor to know if the company through which they’re donating is profiting both ways, and may be not getting top dollar for their gift?

Joe: Call and ask questions! Ask plenty of questions until you’re entirely satisfied. For example, “How will my vehicle be sold?” Ask if they’re owned or managed by an auction company. That’s a pretty good indication that the program primarily benefits the auction company.

To be frank, this is one of the main reasons we started ARS. I saw this happening first hand and I didn’t care for it. I wanted an organization that worked for the charity’s best interests, period.

ARS recommends calling the company you donate your car through to find out how your vehicle sale will be handled.

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