Grants for the Purchase of a Car

by Lucy Bowles
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You may have decided you need a new car to get to work or school, but you're unsure of how you'll be able to afford one. If you have limited funds to purchase a car, there are several resources to assist you. There are organizations that donate used automobiles and provided discounts on purchase price. In addition, state and local government programs award grants for individuals to purchase fuel-efficient green cars.

Opportunity Cars

Opportunity Cars is an organization that allows owners to donate their vehicles. In turn, more than 150 nonprofit organizations provide cars to individuals for a reduced purchase price, or in some instances for free. This program's goal is to grant cars to low-wage families and financially needy individuals to sustain employment. Visit the Opportunity Cars website to find a program near you.

Good News Garage

Lutheran Social Services runs the program Good News Garage. Unlike other donation programs, Good News Garage repairs their vehicles before selling them. The program grants $1,500 to $2,000 to assist individuals in purchasing used cars. Good News Garage repairs and sells used vehicles on the market at a nominal price of $3,500 and higher. Good News Garage guarantees that cars purchased with the grant can last from 12 to 18 months with maintenance. Programs can be found in Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and a few other states.


Wheels to Work

Wheels to Work is a program that is run by Good Will Industries. Good Will accepts donated cars and provides these vehicles for purchase at a lesser price. Participants who qualify for these affordable and reliable cars must demonstrate a need for transportation and enough financial stability to maintain the car. In addition, the individuals must have six to 12 months of current employment, have a referral from the local department of social services and have no drug or traffic violations. After obtaining the car, they must maintain their employment. For more information, you can contact your local Good Will store.

Good Will Industries, Inc.


15810 Indianola Dr.

Rockville, MD 20855


Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) and Aternatie Fuel Rebates

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition funds the Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) and Alternative Fuel Rebate program. This program grants up to $4,000 for the purchase of green or alternative-fuel automobiles. Cars must use a correct fuel to be eligible for the grant. Correct fuels include diesel blends with 20-percent bio-diesel, propane, E85, electricity and hydrogen. Only hybrid electric cars sold in Illinois dealerships will be considered for the rebate.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency


California, City of Vacaville Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle and Infrastructure Grant

The city of Vacaville in California provides grants for individuals to buy new battery electric green cars, plug-in hybrid green cars and natural gas (CNG) vehicles. For example, this program allows you to purchase or lease a Honda Civic GX at a reduced purchase price. Contact the city of Vacaville for an exact reduction percentage for your circumstances.


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