What are the three possible approaches?

When considering a car donation to charity there are three possible approaches.

  • Donate the car to a charity that sells it or has it sold.
  • Donate the car to a charity that uses it in its programs.
  • Sell the car and donate proceeds.

A few big picture comparisons of the three approaches,

Topic Donate Car / Charity Sells Donate Car / Charity Uses Sell Car / Donate Proceeds
What happens to your car Typically, sold at auction or for scrap Used by the charity in its programs You sell it
Sales haircut Amount less than private sale value that car sells at  Not applicable Not applicable
Dealer percentage Portion of sales proceeds Not applicable Not applicable
Hassle cost Not applicable Not applicable You bear the hassle cost
Your itemized deduction Equals what car actually sells for Equals private sale value of the car Equals the amount of cash you donate

Posted in: Car Donations