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How to Donate Your Car to a Local High School

by Elton Dunn

Donating a car to a local high school can provide a test project for an auto shop class, a transportation vehicle for a school club or, if auctioned off, money for needed projects. If you want to donate to a high school, you have to find out which schools accept donations. This is not difficult but can be time consuming. Begin researching in advance of when you want to donate to leave yourself enough time.


Remove personal possessions from the car.


Locate the car's title. The title has to be in your name to donate a car; you cannot donate a relative's car. If you cannot find the title, contact your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (or similar named agency) for a replacement title.


Contact high schools in your community. Ask the administration office at each school whether the school has a shop program that works on automobiles. Determine whether your car is eligible for donation. As Donate a Car to Charity notes, some school programs use only American cars. If the school has a program, you may want to talk to the shop teacher directly. If the schools do not have a shop program, ask if there are other ways the school can use the car.


Find out whether the school is qualified as a 501(c)3 non-profit, if you want to receive credit as a tax deduction. Per the IRS, you can only receive tax credit for schools that qualify as 501(c)3.

Alternately, browse established car donation websites to locate educational charities, including high schools (See Resources).


Make arrangements to get the car to the school. If the car is in working condition and registered, you can drive it. If not, you will have to pay for it to be towed.


Hand the title to someone at the school accepting responsibility for the car (like the shop teacher). Have him fill out the title, transferring ownership from you to the school. Hand over the keys.


Wait to receive a tax receipt if you donated to a 501(c)3 organization. Someone at the school will prepare a receipt showing the value of your donation.

About the Author

A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.

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