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How to Donate a Car to Charity in Tucson, Arizona


Ensure that your soon-to-be-donated vehicle has a clear title and that there are no liens on it of any kind. If you're not in possession of the title, contact the Arizona DMV office in Tucson (see Resources) for specific instructions on how to obtain a certified copy; there will be a small charge for this service. Once you have the title, fill out the pertinent information on it to indicate the transfer of ownership to the charitable organization picking up the vehicle.


Remove all personal items from the vehicle. Clean out the trunk, under the seats, in the glove box and on the center console. Don't forget to take out the garage door opener. Leave all automobile-related equipment---original or aftermarket---on the car: Doing so increases the car's value and, in turn, the value of your donation.


Call the charity of your choice and arrange for it to pick up the vehicle. Obtain a receipt for the vehicle from the person who comes to pick it up. Most charitable organizations in Arizona have arrangements with local towing companies to provide this service; the tow-truck drivers are given receipts to leave with the donor. This receipt isn't for tax purposes---it's simply an acknowledgment of your donation.


Contact the charity to which you donated your vehicle to get a receipt for the value of the vehicle. Typically, this will be after the vehicle has been sold by the charity, so it may take several months to get this information. A receipt suitable for use on your income tax forms must be filled out by the charitable organization and sent to you. This only applies if the organization is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit and if you don't receive anything of value in return for your donated vehicle. If the vehicle sells for less than $500, you're entitled to a deduction of the greater of the selling price or the fair market value of the vehicle (this market value information is available through Kelley Blue Book and will be provided by the charitable organization). If the vehicle sells for more than $500, your deduction will be equal to the sale price.

Tips and Warnings

  • Contact your insurance agency (if the donated vehicle was still insured) to cancel coverage after it's picked up.

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