How to Apply for a Donated Car

By Nicky LaMarco

  • Overview

    In a society that is dependent on motor transportation, life can be hard if you are trying to secure a better job to support your family without reliable transportation. If you meet the financial standards of someone who has experienced hardships in life, you may be able to apply for a donated car. This is because sometimes the circle of life is that you need a car to get a better job. You also need the job to get a car. There are people who understand your struggle in life and are willing to help.
    Car Headlight Yellow
    • Step 1

      Look into your area organizations that may be able to help point in the direction of a charity that can make arrangements for car donations. The Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries are great places to start. Your local state social service agency branch office should also be included in your search.
    • Step 2

      Check out any charity or other organization that claims to have a donated car program for validity before you fill out an application and hand over your personal information. As sad as it may seem, there are people out there who may be looking to scam you once they get your personal information. Generally, you can check the Better Business Bureau for any complaints and a healthy history as a charity organization. Also, your local state social services department and United Way can verify any organization you may be considering applying for a donated car.


    • Step 3

      Take a look at your eligibility for a car donation. Some groups work specifically with people who are disabled, single mothers or fathers, military families, or other qualifications. If you fall into a special group, you may direct your search best by contacting state or county social services because they have case workers who specialize in your situation.
    • Step 4

      Gather all the information and documents you will need before you go to apply. You will need your social security number and all papers that verify your income such as pay stubs and tax returns. You will also need the same information for every dependent you have living in your household. If you are receiving a donated car due to a special circumstance--like a disability or military hardship--you will need to bring proof of this. Also bring along careful calculations on how much you spend on utilities, loans, rent, and groceries.
    • Step 5

      Check back frequently. Just like if you were trying to get a job, you want to call every week at least to check on the status of your application. This will help keep your name fresh on the minds of the charity and will help you to be chosen for a vehicle once one arrives that fits your needs.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Tip: Apply for more than one charity or non-profit organization if you qualify for aid.

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