Numerous churches, ministries, and other non-profits may be able to provide minor car repairs free of charge to the needy and low income. Most of the repairs are targeted at those people who need a car for transportation to work or a medical appointment. Get information below on who to call and where to go for low cost or free automobile repairs.
National car repair organizations
Another non-profit organization to call in your county for free or low cost car repairs is your local community action agency. These agencies are partly funded by the federal government and many do operate resources that focus on employment, which will include transportation needs. Even if assistance with car repairs is not offered, they may instead provide bus passes or other support.
While each location will offers its own unique type and number of assistance programs, most of them do offer some type of transportation assistance and related programs. Or if they do not directly offer the service they may have referrals to who may. Get transportation for a doctors appointment, job interview, or other emergency needs in a local town or county. Or apply for a grant or loan that can in effect pay for the repair or maintenance of your automobile. Click here for more information on transportation programs from community action agencies.
Another national agency that focuses on providing used cars or financing to low income individuals, but that may be a good place to call to learn about about free auto repairs, is Working Cars for Working Families. The site is workingcarsforworkingfamilies.org. They partner with locations in all states, so hopefully one will be near you.
The leading car donation charity is 1-800-Charity-Cars. You can donate your old automobile to them, and they will then screen individuals to find the best match for your car. While they do not directly provide for repairs, they may be able to refer the needy to local repair shops that offer assistance. They also provide low cost cars to those who need them.
If you need transportation to your job, or maybe even for an interview, Ways to Work may be able to help. They provide low interest loans so people can afford to buy a car on their own. The loans can also usually be used to pay for some type of employment related car repairs. So while it is not a free service, the financing can in effect allow people to save possibly hundreds of dollars per year. Call (866) 252-7171, or learn more on low cost Ways to Work auto loans.
One charity that may be able to refer people to local programs is Lutheran Services. This is a nationwide network of human service organizations. While the exact types of programs will vary by town, county, and state, some of the locations may be able to help with car repairs or offer referrals. The non-profit organization also works with local agencies and charities to help the less fortunate, and one service may be coordinating assistance for repairs to your automobile. They may also offer advice on where to get a donated car from. More on Lutheran Services assistance programs.
Regional non-profits, churches, and charities that offer free car repairs
Other more regional charities that can offer repairs or that may be able to donate a car to you include the following. Each will have an application process, and the programs are limited in size, but they can serve as additional options.
Domestic Violence Transportation Program of Seattle, WA (King County)
A Helping Hand Ministry in Atlanta Georgia. Provides transportation assistance. (770) 684-0038
Brevard County Florida Community Action Agency. Applicants must live within Brevard County to be eligible and must also be enrolled in the Self-Sufficiency Program. Call 321-633-1951. Grants may be available to fix your car.
Auto Repair Good Guys Foundation is based in Arizona, and they can either recommend a trustworthy garage for you, or help you repair your car, possibly by providing free labor. Or try free DIY car repairs. 866-747-1331
The CARpenter’s Garage, which is based in Vancouver Washington, is a local charitable ministry that helps low income individuals and families with paying for their car repairs. (360) 882-7755
The Car Ministry Program is a regional affiliation of churches as well as charities. Some of them donate used cars to qualified low income families, while other ministries assist with repairs, provide tires, and more. For more information, use the search above above and search for free automobile repairs using a local town or county.
In addition to those locations listed above, one of the nations largest charity/church organizations (St. Vincent De Paul) may have information on or they have very small amounts of money to contribute for automobile repairs. There are some auto shop owners that may work with a local parish to volunteer their time to help repair a car at no cost to the client, provided the parts are paid for by the automobile owner. Other groups such as Catholic Charities may also be able to assist. Click here for more information on car repairs and gasoline programs from churches.
A number of regional non-profit organizations and charities may also provide “new” used cars to qualified low income families. Some of these locations may also have referrals to either local garages or programs that will repair your existing car for free or at a reduced rate. While the recipient will usually need to use the automobile for work related purposes, the terms of each agency will vary. Read more free cars.
Local Salvation Army centers can usually provide information on regional transportation assistance and repair programs. While the specifics of each county will vary and resources are very limited, some locations can help. Services offered can range from cash to pay for a portion of your repairs, free bus tokens, gasoline vouchers, or the use of volunteer drivers. Oftentimes a case worker can provide information on programs or agencies that can contribute towards your automobile repair expense. More on Salvation Army.
Repairs from United Methodist Church ministries may be a possibility. Some churches of this faith based organization coordinate resources among their local community, including using volunteer mechanics and car donation programs.
Depending on the church, some basic repairs may be done for free or some ministries may offer rides or even a new car. Typically only labor is provided, and the individual needs to pay for any parts. Read about the car repair ministry from United Methodist Church.
Federal government assistance
The federal government can also provide low income loans and/or grants to a limited number of lower income individuals. The program is known as JARC, or Job Access and Reverse Commute, and it is very limited in scope. However when it is available the grants can be used to in effect provide free emergency car repairs to the applicant. Unfortunately the amount of funding available to clients has been decreasing year over year, so fewer individuals can benefit from it.
Any type of assistance provided is for people who need a car to get to work, and who do not have access to any other public transportation. The funds from the government program can be used to pay for repairs, maintenance, items such as new tires, and other transportation needs. Find additional information on this automobile repair grant program.