Other Vehicle Donations
Regular passenger vehicles such as cars and trucks are among the most common types of vehicles people donate; however, they're not the only vehicles charities accept.
Types of Vehicles for Donation
In addition to regular passenger vehicle donation, many charities look for vehicles other than those considered “standard"; these include:
- Recreational vehicles (RVs).
Specialized Vehicle Charities
Specialized vehicle charities exist across the country; it's a matter of finding one near you that accepts the non-standard vehicle you wish to donate.
Thanks to today's technology, you can start with a quick Internet search. You can also ask family members, friends, neighbors, and even co-workers about any other types of vehicles they've donated to charity.
Just remember to check out the charity's tax-exempt status if you plan to make a tax-deductible donation (see IRS & Other Tax Requirements below for more information), and refer to our page on Car Donation Scams to make sure you don't fall prey to a scam for donating any type of vehicle.
Determine Your Vehicle's Value
Determining the value of your other vehicle can be tricky. While many folks look to the Kelley Blue Book (KBB) for the value of their vehicle, the KBB doesn't provide values for non-standard vehicles such as boats, motorcycles, and RVs.
Plus, sometimes this value isn't the exact “fair market" value—which is what the IRS looks for when it comes to charitable donation.
IRS & Other Tax Requirements
You must donate your vehicle to a tax-exempt charity or organization if you want it to qualify as a tax-deductible donation. Most commonly, these types of organizations have a 501(c)(3) status that the IRS refers to as “charities." Ask the charity to see its 501(c)(3) documentation before donating your vehicle for a tax deduction. You can also check the IRS's EO Select Check to find tax-exempt organizations.
Once you determine the value of your vehicle and make your donation, you must obtain required documentation for your tax deduction. Such documentation includes, but might not be limited to:
- Written acknowledgement from the charity.
- Noncash Charitable Contributions (Form 8283).
- This form is for donations exceeding $500.
- Written appraisal from a qualified appraiser.
Understand that any tax-deductible donation might come with special IRS requirements specific to the situation. Play it safe and speak with your tax professional both before you make the donation and when it's time to file your taxes.
Check out the IRS's pamphlet on A Donor's Guide to Car Donation to learn more about your charitable tax-deductible donation.
Exceptions to the Rule
Not all charitable organizations are required to have a 501(c)(3) status for you to make a donation tax deduction; such examples include religious organizations. For specific information about charities you don't see listed, or that can't provide documentation, contact the IRS at (877) 829-5500.