Donate a Car or Vehicle

You can give new purpose to an old car, truck, RV, or boat by turning it into cash to help address senior isolation and hunger in our community. Donating your vehicle to Meals on Wheels is easy and impactful through our partnership with CARS, Inc.

We Accept All Types of Vehicles for Donation

We accept most vehicles, running or not, including cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RVs, motorcycles, campers, off-road vehicles, planes, heavy equipment, farm machinery, and most other motorized vehicles.

How to Donate Your Car or Vehicle

Donating is easy, free, and secure! We convert vehicles into cash, which becomes a welcome donation. Your gift may qualify for a tax deduction, and you avoid the cost and hassle of repairing or selling a vehicle you no longer want.

  1. To get started, call 844-583-8227 or complete this simple donation form.
  2. Schedule your free and convenient pickup.
  3. Receive a donation receipt for your generous gift. You will get a tax deduction if you are an itemizing taxpayer!

FAQs for Car Donations

No. There is no cost to the donor. All expenses are deducted from the gross sales price, and if the costs ever exceed the price, those costs are covered by CARS, our vehicle donation program provider.

All vehicles are considered! We strive to accept all types of donated vehicles, running or not, including cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RVs, motorcycles, campers, off-road vehicles, planes, heavy equipment, farm machinery, and most other motorized vehicles. To find out if we can accept your vehicle, please complete this simple online vehicle donation form, or call CARS toll-free at 844-583-8227 during regular hours of operation.

CARS is available seven days a week. Please call 844-583-8227 or email [email protected] to get the answers to your questions.

Hours of Operation (ET):

8:00am – 9:00pm (ET), Mon – Fri
9:00am – 8:00pm (ET), Saturday
11:00am – 7:30pm (ET), Sunday

This varies from state to state. Each Vehicle Donor Service Representative is equipped with a 50-state guide for the steps necessary in each state and will advise you of these steps during the donation process.

No. For states with this requirement, you may donate your vehicle without a smog certificate or safety inspection.

Yes! We can accept most vehicles, running or not. However, it must be in one piece and towable, have an engine, and be tow truck accessible. To find out if we can accept your vehicle, please complete this simple online vehicle donation form, or call toll-free at 844-583-8227 during regular hours of operation.

It varies, so please wait to mark the Title until after you have discussed it with the vendor picking up your vehicle as they are experts in your local area. If you have questions, you can call 844-583-8227 to speak to a representative.

Yes! Our vehicle donation program can provide quick and convenient vehicle pick-up and towing just about anywhere in all 50 states. To find out if we can accept your vehicle, please please complete this simple online vehicle donation form, or call 844-583-8227 during regular hours of operation.

Once you have provided CARS with all necessary information via the online vehicle donation form or over the phone with a Vehicle Donor Support Representative, they will arrange to have a licensed tow company pick up your vehicle at a time convenient for you. The vehicle will be picked up and taken to a sale location where it will be sold—all at no cost to you.

In many cases, once the donation record has been created, CARS can schedule the vehicle to be picked up on the initial call. In other cases, they will contact you within two to three business days to schedule a convenient appointment time with a preferred vendor. If you need your car picked up sooner, please let the Vehicle Donor Support Representative know during your initial call. They will do their best to accommodate your time frame. For more specific information pertaining to your vehicle donation, please call CARS at 844-583-8227.

Donated vehicles are sold through the used-car markets and provide crucial funding for Metro Meals on Wheels. CARS works with a very large network of nationwide and independent vendors to sell the vehicle and maximize donation proceeds. They analyze vendor pricing and performance on a regular basis to improve the process and ensure the best possible return for Metro Meals on Wheels and to maximize the donor’s tax benefit. For unique or specialty items that have been donated, they may use other means to sell the vehicle to help ensure the maximum funds are received for each donation.

CARS has multiple sales outlets and works hard to find the best buyer for each vehicle. The entire sale process may take four to 12 weeks. The net cash proceeds from your generous vehicle donation are sent to Metro Meals on Wheels within five business days upon the receipt of the sale proceeds from CARS auction or direct buyer providers.

In most states, you will need the clear Title to the vehicle. But if you do not have it, or have problems with your Title, please call us anyway. It is possible that other arrangements may be made. Any lien holder listed on the Title must be cleared and/or released by the bank. Please refer to the motor vehicle division in your state for clear instructions. Please call toll-free at 844-583-8227 with questions.

CARS carefully evaluates each vehicle to find the best buyers. They assess the year, make, model, location, and resale potential then monitor the sale to ensure maximum returns. In most cases, vehicles are sold through an auction facility. High-end or specialty vehicles are individually evaluated and sold for the highest market value.

Yes. Once your vehicle sells, CARS will either email and/or mail a thank-you letter on behalf of Metro Meals on Wheels, which serves as a copy of your tax receipt. Please note that if your vehicle sells for more than $500 and your tax identification number has been provided, an IRS Form 1098-C, ‘Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes’, will be mailed to you within 30 days of the sale stating the amount of gross proceeds received from your donation.

CARS, Inc. (Charitable Adult Rides & Services) runs the Meals on Wheels Vehicle Donation Program. CARS is an ISO 9001 certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in San Diego that operates under the governance of an independent board of directors and specializes in vehicle donation services for other nonprofits. CARS follows governmental compliance with all IRS and state regulations concerning vehicle donation programs, fundraising registrations, and charitable receipting requirements throughout all 50 states and Canada, as required. CARS has also maintained an A+ Better Business Bureau rating for over 10 years.

Yes! Vehicle donations are tax-deductible. Individual tax situations vary. For specific tax-related questions, please consult your tax advisor or refer to IRS Publication 4303.

Most vehicles are sold through local wholesale auctions and we work to get the highest return per vehicle for you and Metro Meals on Wheels. According to the IRS Guidelines, you may claim fair market value for your donation up to the actual sale value. If your vehicle is sold for more than $500, the maximum amount of your deduction will be the sales price of the vehicle which will be listed on your IRS Form 1098-C.

A special rule may apply if the donated vehicle sells for $500 or less. In this case, a deduction for the lesser of the vehicle’s fair market value on the date of the contribution may be claimed, or $500, provided you have written acknowledgment (i.e. the initial donation receipt or the thank-you letter you receive once the donation process is complete).

The “fair market value” of a vehicle is the price that you could sell it for in its current condition to another individual, willing seller and willing buyer, and it represents the cash that you give up to make the donation. A convenient source of this information is the private party sale value as shown in online valuation guides such as Kelley Blue Book.

In most cases, you will receive an initial donation receipt from the tow driver at the time of your vehicle pick-up. This initial acknowledgement will indicate your name as well as the year, make, model and condition of the vehicle you are donating. You will then be mailed a thank-you letter on behalf of Metro Meals on Wheels, which serves as a tax receipt, within 30 days of the sale of the vehicle. This will be your final tax document if your vehicle sold for less than $500.

If your vehicle sells for more than $500 and your tax identification number has been provided, an IRS Form 1098-C, ‘Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes’, will be mailed to you within 30 days of the sale stating the amount of gross proceeds received from your donation.

Please call 844-583-8227 during regular hours of operation, or email [email protected] for assistance.

Effective January 1, 2005, you are no longer required to have vehicles appraised. The value you may claim will be the amount of gross proceeds received from your vehicle. If your vehicle sells for more than $5,000, you will need to complete Section B of Form 8283 and obtain an acknowledgment signature on the form prior to claiming the deduction, and the completed form will need to be included with your income tax return.

There are many resources available to guide you through the vehicle donation process. Please click the links below to access IRS publications and resources. If you still have questions, please feel free to reach out to CARS toll-free at 844-583-8227 seven days a week during regular hours of operation.

This vehicle donation program protects the privacy of every donor. Donor information is not given to any organization except the IRS as required by law. Donor names and addresses are shared exclusively with the donor-designated organization. Social Security numbers required under the current tax law for vehicle donations are only shared with the IRS. Social Security Numbers are encrypted with AES256 encryption. The encryption key is stored remotely from the data. Controls are in place to limit who can request access to the decrypted Social Security Numbers with logs stored of each access.

State Notification proves that you are no longer the registered owner of the donated vehicle. Depending on the registered state of the vehicle, your next step (after your vehicle has been picked up) is to notify the state about your recent vehicle donation. Please only notify your state after the vehicle is picked up. This step may be required by the State and may include surrendering the license plates.

The steps needed to release your liability of a donated vehicle vary by state. Our Vehicle Donor Service Representatives can provide you with the steps necessary for each state. If you have questions about how to notify your state about your donated vehicle, please call 844-583-8227 seven days a week during regular hours of operation, or email [email protected].

Click to learn more about Meals on Heels 2024