If you have an old car you’re willing to part with, arranging for a vehicle donation comes with a tax benefit for you and a financial gain for a local charity. In Utah, the donation process usually involves a free pick-up from the nonprofit organization of your choice and a receipt for a tax deduction.
New to car donations? Don’t worry, we’re here to walk you through it.
Compare insurance quotes from 50+ carriers with Jerry in under 45 seconds
How to donate a car in Utah
To donate a car in
Utah, you’ll first want to decide on the car donation program you want to go with. Depending on the nonprofit, you’ll usually fill out an online donation form and then they’ll help schedule free pick-up or free towing (if they accept vehicles that no longer run).
Here’s a general rundown of how the donation process will go:
- Compile your vehicle’s documents—this includes the signed title, donation forms, and possibly anodometer disclosure form
- Calculate your car’s value—in order to earn your tax deduction, it helps to know the actual cash value of the vehicle you’re donating
- Select your nonprofit—there are hundreds of both state and nationwide car donation organizations for you to choose from (we’ve listed a few big ones down below to help you decide!)
- Schedule your vehicle pick-up or towing—almost every car donation program arranges a pick-up for you, which eliminates much of the hassle on your end
- Hold onto the tax receipt—after selling your donated vehicle, the nonprofit organization will typically give you some sort of official receipt for you to use during tax season
As with any vehicle exchange, the Utah DMV requires that you remove your license plate, notify the DMV of the transfer in writing or by phone, and complete a
Utah title transferwhen donating a car. Note that you’ll want to wait until your vehicle is in the charity’s possession before you cancel your
Utah car insurance coverage.
If you’re donating to a Utah vehicle donation program and your vehicle is in another state, many nonprofits still offer towing and pick-up services as well. Just note that you will need to look into your state’s specific
title transfer requirements. For example, title transfers in
Wyomingall need to be notarized.
How do taxes work when donating a car?
Once you donate a vehicle, you are eligible for a tax deduction both from the state of Utah and from the federal government. As most charities end up selling donated vehicles to raise funds, the amount you receive in your deduction will typically be based on how much your car sells for.
Here’s how each tax benefit breaks down:
- Federal tax deduction—you can claim a tax break for up to $500 if the nonprofit sells your car for $500 or less (even if its fair market value is higher). If the nonprofit chooses to keep the car, then you will claim its fair market value. Should your car sell for more than $500, your deduction limit will be the total selling price (again, even if its fair market value is higher).
- State tax deduction—Utah’s tax deductions for a donated vehicle are a little trickier. In most cases, you can apply up to 6% of your deducted federal return or itemized deduction toward a taxpayer tax credit. However, this creditdepends on income bracketsand may phase out if you make over a certain amount.
In the event that a charity keeps the vehicle for its own uses, you can determine its fair market value through sources, like
Kelley Blue Book, and claim this value on Form 1098-C.
Pro tip: The IRS gathered the answers to many FAQs about vehicle donation and tax deductions in itsdonor’s guide to vehicle donations.
Where to donate a car in Utah
With an abundance of car donation programs out there, perhaps one of the most difficult steps is simply choosing a nonprofit to donate to. Here are a few Utah vehicle donation charities to get you started:
Wheels for Wishes
This nonprofit collects and sells car donations, then delivers the profits to local
Make-A-Wishbranches. Make-A-Wish is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to realizing dreams for kids facing terminal or critical illnesses.
If you’re interested in helping out with your donated vehicle,
Wheels for Wishesaccepts almost any type of vehicle, running or not running—this includes ATVs, motorhomes, watercraft, and even jet skis. They offer free pick-up in
Salt Lake City,
West Valley City, and
West Jordan, along with several other locations across the state!
Vehicles for Veterans
A nationwide charity,
Vehicles for Veteransuses the money from vehicle donations to benefit veteran programs all across the country. They accept cars, trucks, boats, or motorcycles in working or non-working condition, and will pick up or tow away your donated vehicle for free, whether you’re down in
St. Georgeor up north in
Gifting a car in Utah
Dedicated to improving educational opportunities across the United States, Kars4Kids partners with
Oorahto implement after-school programs, one-on-one tutoring, and enrichment and development for Jewish communities.
Goodwill Car Donations
Goodwill accepts donations of most motor vehicles, regardless of working condition, and distributes the profits toward programs that offer local job training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged individuals.
To donate, you can either fill out a
donation form onlineor call their phone number: (866) 233-8586.
TowKars of Utah & Idaho
Associated with the National Kidney Foundation, TowKars sells donated vehicles and uses the funds to help kidney disease patients in Utah and Idaho pay for their treatments. Proceeds also go toward local medical research and community programs geared toward organ donation and kidney disease prevention.
To donate, simply call 1-800-TOW-KARS or
fill out an online form. Almost every type of vehicle is accepted and free towing is available throughout Utah and Idaho!
Utah Food Bank
While it may seem like you can only donate food (and money) to a food bank, that’s not actually the case. Utah Food Bank accepts limited vehicle donations in Salt Lake City and Washington County. The vehicle must have a
clean title, working tires, and all of its parts to be eligible, however.
Donated vehicles are either transitioned into the fleet or sold to benefit local food distribution in disadvantaged communities. To donate, just fill out an
online donation form, and a representative will reach out within three business days to schedule a pick-up time.
“I just financed a new car and knew my insurance premium was going to rise.Jerrywas well worth it to use. They helped me find a lower premium and canceled my old policy instantly when I was ready to switch!” —Meghana D.
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever