Donating an old car to charity is a good way to recycle it. It has many advantages to the community. The taxpayer obtains a taxable tax deduction on their itemized federal return. The scrap value of the car provides the charity with some much needed money to help fund their programs. The community gets a gas guzzling, polluting car off the road.
Here's some advice to consider before just blindly handing over the title to your car. If you are dealing with a car donation center, ask them how much of the actual sale price the charity will receive. The term "net sale price" or "net proceeds" means the actual sale price minus auction fees, selling fees, or other fees charged by the center. Always make a copy of your title.
Know who you are giving your car to. You should either mail your title to the charity or hand it directly to the person towing your car after they give you a receipt. Never, just leave the title in the car! If you do, you may not get a receipt and therefore, will have no proof of your donation.
If you live in a state where you are required to remove the license plates, make sure you do! You will not be able to cancel your car insurance until you have either transferred the plates to another car or returned them to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Make sure you keep all the correspondence between you and the charity. If you do not, when you go to do your taxes, you'll find yourself calling around the various charities to find out which one you donated your car to.