Thank you for your interest in the Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program. We are here to help you understand vehicle donation and to help you support your local public radio station.
- Q: Is the process of donating my car difficult or costly?
No. There’s a little paperwork involved. But we promise to make it as easy as possible. And there’s absolutely no fee to you or your station.
- Q: Does my car have to be running or in good working condition?
No. We’ll accept your vehicle in any condition, and can arrange to have it towed if it’s not running.
- Q: Do you accept any vehicle, anywhere?
Yes, we accept cars, trucks, boats, planes, motorcycles, RVs, and heavy farm equipment, running or not. Just nothing by Fisher Price. No smog certificate is necessary. We pick up vehicles anywhere in the country, with very few exceptions.
- Q: How do I start the process?
Just click on the Donate button above, or call us at 1-877-215-0227. We’ll help you get started.
- Q: What information do I need to have handy?
Grab your vehicle registration. That should include all the basic info we need about your car. Later on, you’ll also need to rifle through your kitchen drawer and find your vehicle’s title. If you’ve lost your registration or title, just call our Customer Service experts at 1-877-215-0227. They’re great at solving these types of problems. We’d be happy to help.
- Q: Once I’ve provided the basic info about my vehicle, what happens next?
In most states, you’re required to mail us a few forms, including your car’s title. We’ll tell you where to send them. Then, a few days after we receive the forms, you’ll get a call from a vehicle pick up service to arrange a convenient time and place for the pick up. You do not need to be there.
- Q: Then what happens to my beloved car??
We have a group whose expertise is in maximizing the value of every donated vehicle. For many cars, that means selling it via a wholesale auction. This is similar to a “trade in.” For cars in poorer condition, sometimes the maximum value comes from selling the car to a dismantler or recycler, who will pay for valuable parts. Our goal is to assess each car, and find a way to get the maximum donation for your station.
- Q: How do I check on the status of my car or get other answers?
Call 1-877-215-0227, 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., eastern time, Monday through Friday, or between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. eastern time on Saturday.
- Q: Will I receive a tax deduction?
You are entitled to deduct the sales price of your vehicle if it sells for more than $500. If it sells for less than $500, you may deduct the fair market value of the vehicle not to exceed $500. We recommend you consult a site like kbb.com if you need help estimating the fair market value of a sub-$500 donation for tax purposes.
Once your donation is complete, we’ll provide you with a sales receipt or IRS Form 1098C. We are not able to provide specific tax advice, so we suggest you consult your tax advisor about your own itemization and deduction questions.
- Q: How much money goes to my station?
We’re very proud that our program returns the largest percentage of gross proceeds to stations. We are all public radio employees, and fans. We are doing this because we love your station as much as you do. There are costs and fees that have to be deducted during the process. We have to pay to have the car picked up or towed, the title transferred, auction or dismantling fees and other costs associated with the program. However, when it’s all said and done, we return a minimum of 70% of the gross proceeds to the station, a number which makes your station very happy.
- Q: Who runs this program?
This program is a legacy of the public radio show, Car Talk. For more than three decades, Tom and Ray Magliozzi (aka Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers) answered listeners’ questions about cars, and provided laughs, comfort, and trustworthy advice to millions. While Tom passed away in 2014, Ray and the rest of the staff decided to continue this program as a way to give back to the stations that were our friends and partners for decades – and whose programs we listen to every day.
Along with our vehicle donation partners, we’re proud to work with your station and help you turn your car into more of the programs you love. And we thank you for the help you are providing to our hard-working stations!
- Q: What about privacy? Will you share my information?
We are very careful with any information you provide. Donor information is not given to any organization except the IRS as required by law, and to the station to which you’re donating. Your station will only get your name and contact information, which they’ve asked for because they’re eager to thank you.
If (and only if) you specifically opt in during the process, one of our producers may contact you to ask you about why you donated your car, or to ask for a picture of you with the car we can share with other public radio fans. That is totally optional, though. By default, your information will be entirely private.