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|