Donating a car in Los Angeles

How to Donate a Car to Charity in Los Angeles

To donate a car in Los Angeles is one of the most rewarding ways to get rid of an unwanted car. Donating an unwanted car to a charity is a great option if you do not need proceeds from the vehicle and don’t want to pay for towing. Donated cars can be deducted on your taxes based on the value assigned the vehicle by the charity.

Donating a car in Los Angeles is easier than you might think, but not all charities accept car donations. There are still ways that you can donate a car to any charity in Los Angeles. Below find everything you need to know to donate your car to a charity in Los Angeles.

7 steps to donate a car in Los Angeles

There are 7 steps to donate a car in Los Angeles. Following these steps will ensure that the charity gets the most benefit from your donation.

1. Prepare yourself for the process of donating a car in Los Angeles.

Before starting the process of donating a car in Los Angeles you should clean out the car completely. There is no need to wash or vacuum a car before donating it. The donated car will be handed off to a junkyard, vehicle recycler, or sold to a dealer as a part of a lot in a car auction. Make sure you remove all personal belongings. Check every nook and cranny of the trunk, the glovebox, door panels, cupholders, sunglass holders, and visors.

2. Gather the vehicle title or get a replacement if possible.

A vehicle title in your name is required to donate a car in Los Angeles. A California title that is in your name can be transferred online if you don’t have the paper title. An Application for Duplicate Title and Title Transfer can be used to obtain a replacement California title. To get a replacement title from another state, one must contact that state for instructions to get a duplicate title.

3. Document the vehicle's condition, mileage, and VIN.

The information you need to get appraisals for your unwanted car is not all found on the vehicle title. It is helpful to document details of the vehicle in one place. The year, make, model, and VIN will be on the certificate of title. The series or trim package may not be on the title, but is usually displayed on the rear of the vehicle. You will also need to get the odometer reading, make notes about condition, and make a list of all features and upgrades on the vehicle that could affect its value.

4. Research charities/organizations that take donations for cars in Los Angeles.

It is important to research charities before making a donation for cars in Los Angeles. First, not all charities in Los Angeles accept car donations. Second, some charities may use your donation in a way you didn’t intend. These charities often operate from large philanthropic donations, with smaller donations from individuals merely paying the bills and padding executive paychecks.

The Better Business Bureau has an arm that rates and accredits charities in the same way that it does businesses. This is the best way to make sure that you are donating to a worthy cause. Once you have a short list of charities, determine if they accept car donations. Review their process for donating cars in Los Angeles or how to donate cash proceeds from a car sale.

5. Get offers for selling the car for cash to donate to the charity.

You should get offers for selling the car for cash in Los Angeles even if the charity you want to support accepts car donations. This is because charities often get less than wholesale price for the car donations they receive. Provide details of the car to the charities and online car buyers to get appraisals and determine the option most profitable to the charity.

From there you can choose a charity in Los Angeles to support, and accept the best offer for your car if the offer is higher than the value assigned to the vehicle by the charity.

6. Schedule drop off or pick up of the car to donate in Los Angeles.

Schedule a time to drop off or pick up the car to donate in Los Angeles. Vehicles in running condition being donated directly to a charity can be dropped off at their location. This removes towing costs that eat into the profits going to the charity. Online car buyers will come pick up the car for you. Most pay on the spot for the cars they remove, so you want to be present when the car is picked up.

7. Complete the sale and/or donation of your car in Los Angeles.

It is necessary to complete the sale or donation of your car in Los Angeles by signing over the title or other paperwork for transfer. An online car buyer will verify the paperwork and condition of the vehicle and remit payment for the car, usually by check. Checks in turn can be signed over to the charity, or you can donate the funds into your bank account and make your donation another way.

Should I donate or sell a car in Los Angeles for cash?

The decision to donate or sell a car in Los Angeles for cash should be made based on the values given the vehicle by the charity and online car buyers. In most cases it is more profitable for the charity to sell a car in Los Angeles for cash and donate those funds to the charity. This is because charities typically get less than wholesale value for the car donations they receive, while online car buyers pay the most competitive prices to individuals.

It is always best to sell a car in Los Angeles for cash when you don’t have the paper title available for transfer. Most charities are not equipped to help you complete the necessary paperwork to donate a car without a title. Online car buyers in Los Angeles are better able to assist you.

What places accept donations for cars in Los Angeles?

There are many great charities in Los Angeles that accept car donations. The most popular charities that accept donations of cars in Los Angeles are:

  • Kars4Kids
  • Catholic Charities of Greater Los Angeles
  • Habitat for Humanity Los Angeles
  • Los Angeles Mission
  • Wheels for Wishes (Make-A-Wish Foundation)
  • Vehicles for Veterans
  • Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

These charities will accept donations for cars in Los Angeles in any condition. Junk cars donated to charities in Los Angeles are sold and the proceeds used to support the charity’s mission. Cars that are still in running condition or are easily repaired are in higher demand with the charities that work directly with low-income or poverty-stricken households and veterans.

There are newer sites that accept donations for cars in Los Angeles and pass on the funds to the charity on your behalf. This removes some of the work of donating a car in Los Angeles, but the charity may get even less of the money than if you donated the car directly. If the charity you want to support does not accept car donations, selling the car to an online car buyer and donating the proceeds is a much better option.

What are the best sites that you can sell or donate a car in Los Angeles?

The best sites to sell or donate a car in Los Angeles depends on the condition of the vehicle. A vehicle in running condition is best donated to charities like Catholic Charities, Los Angeles Mission, or Vehicles for Veterans. Running cars make a big difference for the individuals that require their support.

The best site to donate a junk car in Los Angeles that doesn’t run is Wheels for Wishes. This car donation program in Los Angeles supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Make-A-Wish Foundation makes wishes come true for children with terminal illness. They are well-organized and will remove the junk car for you promptly and with little hassle.

The best site to sell a car in Los Angeles for cash to donate to your favorite charity is Junk Car Medics. Junk Car Medics is an online car buyer that pays cash for cars in Los Angeles in any condition. They pay the most cash for cars in Los Angeles so that your charity can get the most benefit. They also make the process quick, easy, painless, and rewarding with online quote systems and payment on pickup of the vehicle.

What is needed to donate a car in Los Angeles?

To donate a car in Los Angeles one must have the vehicle title to endorse for transfer. It is also necessary to complete a Statement of Facts REG 256 and attach it when donating a car with an out-of-state title. A notorized Lien Satisfied/Title Holder Release REG 166 must be attached to the title when a lien holder is listed. The vehicle loan must be paid off to obtain the lien release in most cases.

To sell a car for cash in Los Angeles instead one must also have a Bill of Sale REG 135 to complete the chain of ownership. Selling a car for cash in Los Angeles may require additional paperwork when the title is not available. The California DMV also requires that all junk cars receive junk title status by submitting an Application for Salvage Certificate or Nonrepairable Certificate REG 488C before being recycled. The best Los Angeles car buyers use pre-approved online forms to handle this step.

Can I donate a car without a title in Los Angeles?

Yes, it is possible to donate a car without a title in Los Angeles in some circumstances. However, it is much easier to find an online car buyer to donate a car without a title in Los Angeles. Charities are not equipped to identify, complete, or process the paperwork necessary to get rid of a car without a title in Los Angeles. The state of California regulates Los Angeles car buyers, junkyards, and vehicle dismantlers. California law provides for these entities to accept junk cars for cash in Los Angeles with the appropriate paperwork. This is different than the process to donate a car in Los Angeles, but online car buyers are able to make the process as quick, easy, and painless as possible.

What to do after you donate a car in Los Angeles?

It is necessary to notify the California DMV when you donate a car in Los Angeles. You can report the car donation to the California DMV through their online system, by phone, or by mail. It is also necessary to notify the DMV when selling a car in Los Angeles, even if you are donating the cash to a charity. The DMV will cancel your registration and credit the unused portion to your account for use on your next vehicle registration. After that you can cancel your car insurance.

Make sure you get a receipt for your car donation in Los Angeles. The receipt should include the vehicle description, value, and date of donation. Get a receipt for the cash, online, or check donation when donating cash from selling a car in Los Angeles. Keep these receipts with your tax records.

What's The Better Alternative to Donating a Car?

While donating a car is a good thing to do and is a way to get rid of an unwanted vehicle we recommend a different option. The better alternative to donating a car is to sell your junk car in Los Angeles. Selling your vehicle and then donating the cash is an easier way to donate to a local charity.