General Buying Information

How to Find Donated Cars to Buy


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Many charities sell their donated cars for funds on a regular basis. People donate their cars for tax deductions, or to get them off of their property when they no longer have a use for them. Buying one of these can be a great way to avoid car payments, get a cheap, reliable car, and help out a charity organization all at the same time. It may sound like the perfect thing to do, however, there are misconceptions about how difficult it is.

Contrary to popular belief, buying a donated car is a simple way to get an inexpensive car that you can depend on. Many charities have vehicles that are only 4 to 5 years old, but even if you find one that's 10 or more, you can be sure that it was inspected and deemed roadworthy by a trusted mechanic, and they're not hard to find. Donated vehicles can be found on online auctions, such as eBay for as little as $1000, but remember that online shopping is always risky to some extent. People with malicious intent can pose as charity workers, and sell you unreliable vehicles, or not sell you a vehicle at all, and just run away with your money.

If you aren't fond of the online shopping experience though, you can buy a donated car in person from many reputable charity organizations. The website www.donateacar.com is a good resource that has been around since 1992. You can find an alphabetical list of all the charities that take in cars as donations, or separate them by state. Contact an organization near you to find out their policies for buying their vehicles.

Not everyone can qualify for buying a donated car from any organization though. Since these are charities, they tend to lean toward the people with the most need. Some require you be below the poverty line. Others only donate vehicles to families with children, or people who are disabled, and others require that you have a job and work a minimum number of hours per week. Every charity is different, and it's best that you call ahead and make sure you qualify to purchase a car from the charity you have chosen. Be sure to bring along any and all documentation they may request from you, such as proof of address, citizenship, photo ID, etc. 

When buying your donated car, don't forget the basic necessities for putting a vehicle on the road in your state. Registration and insurance costs are generally not covered by the charities themselves, and are something you need to budget for. If you can't afford it still, many car donation organizations offer help in the form of low-interest loans that you can take advantage of in order to get your vehicle. In short, there is a way for nearly anyone who needs a vehicle to find a charity that will assist them in buying.

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