How to Donate a Car in Iowa

Donating a car to charity in Iowa can get you a deduction on your taxes.
Written by Mary Cahill
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
In Iowa, donating a car to charity can get you a deduction on your taxes. You have the option to donate to either an in-state or out-of-state charity. Depending on your tax bracket, you may also receive an additional 9% deduction on your state tax liability. 
If you decide you no longer have a use for your vehicle, you’ll need to figure out the best way to get it off your hands. 
Selling the car
privately can be unpredictable, or more trouble than it's worth, and the
price may not be quite what you were expecting. When this is the case, the best option may be to simply donate it.  
Not only is donating a car surprisingly convenient but you can also reap the tax benefits.
, the licensed
car insurance
broker app, is here to walk you through some tips on how to donate your car to charity in Iowa. In this article, we’ll discuss how to complete the process and give you some names of reputable charities that accept car donations. Plus, we'll tell you how you can save on your
Iowa car insurance costs
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How to donate a car in Iowa

Donating your car in Iowa is a pretty straightforward endeavor, but it’s still important to make sure you understand the process before you begin. Here is what you’ll need to do:
  • Start by selecting the charity. This step will require some research, but with the Internet’s help, it should be pretty easy. To avoid a scam, look for well-established charities that have a good reputation. 
  • If you plan to write off the donation when you file your taxes, you’ll want to make sure the charity of your choice can receive a tax-deductible donation. You can use the IRS’s
    Tax Exempt Organization Search Tool
    to confirm. 
  • Collect the necessary documents. In order to successfully donate your car to charity, the organization will need the vehicle’s title, make, model, VIN, and current mileage documented in writing. 
  • Know how much your car is worth before you complete the donation. You can check your car’s fair market value on the
    Kelley Blue Book
  • Schedule a pickup time. It’s common for organizations that take car donations to tow your car away cost-free. 
  • Hold onto your receipt so that you can claim the donation on your income tax. If the charity sells your car, be sure you know the price of the sale—you’ll need that figure when you file your taxes. 

How do taxes work when donating a car?

Another reason Iowans decide to donate their cars is so that they can claim the donation as a tax deduction. Charities that accept donated cars will resell them to raise funds for their organization. Your car’s selling price will determine the amount of your tax deduction. 
If your vehicle sells for more than $500, you will be able to claim the sale price on your tax form—regardless of what the fair market value price was. If the Kelley Blue Book value of your car was $3,000 but the charity sold it for $1,000, you will claim a tax deduction of $1,000. 
If your car sells for less than $500, you can write off $500 or the fair market value price—whichever is lower. Charities will often sell donated vehicles at a serious discount to families in need. 
If the charity doesn’t sell your car, you can claim the fair market value. 
Key Takeaway Do some research on charities that accept car donations so that you are fully prepared when you decide to donate your vehicle. Avoid scams by choosing a reputable organization. 

Where to donate a car in Iowa

Wondering where you can donate your car in Iowa? There are several great choices for charities in Iowa that take car donations. Let’s take a look at your options. 

Cars for Prostate Cancer

Iowa Division of the Prostate Cancer Awareness Project
encourages members of the community to donate a car if they’re able through their
Cars For Prostate Cancer
program. Your donation aids in spreading knowledge and saving lives. After you donate your car, the organization will mail you all the forms you’ll need to complete your tax deduction claim. 

Wheels for Wishes

A branch of the Make-A-Wish® Foundation,
Wheels for Wishes
works to help children battling critical illness. You can donate a variety of vehicles including an RV,
, or
to help fund a child’s wish.  


If you thought
only took clothes and household items, think again! They also take car donations and even accept non-running vehicles. You can call them at (855) 534-3830 to schedule a free pick-up for your tax-deductible car donation. 


has donated millions to charity since 1994 and accepts thousands of car donations nationwide each year. It takes just two minutes to fill out the donation form on their website. You’ll get a fast, free vehicle pick-up, save money on your taxes, and help kids all at the same time. 

Vehicles for Veterans

The United States is home to 19.6 million disabled veterans who could use support from the community. If you’d like to help by donating your car to this organization, you can complete the donation form located on the
Vehicles for Veterans website


is a car donation service that has a branch in Iowa, and you can contact them at (855) 520-2100. When you donate a car through this organization, they’ll donate the profits to another charity of your choosing. This is a great option if your favorite charity doesn’t take car donations.  

How to find affordable car insurance quotes in Iowa

Now that you’ve donated your car to a charitable cause, make sure you’re doing yourself a favor by getting affordable car insurance for your new ride. Luckily, it’s never been easier to save money on your coverage thanks to
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