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How to Get a Donated Car from Goodwill or the Salvation Army?

How to Get a Donated Car from Goodwill or the Salvation Army

Are you in desperate need of a vehicle for yourself and your family? If you are low on funds, it may be that you don’t have the resources to purchase a used vehicle. This can make it very difficult to get from A to B and safely take your family where they need to go.

Fortunately, you may be able to get help from a charitable organization. Dedicated programs are organized to encourage people to donate vehicles to those in need. 

So. let’s find out, How to Get a Donated Car from Goodwill or the Salvation Army?

About the Salvation Army Car Donation Program 

The Salvation Army is a charity committed to improving the quality of life for humankind. The organization runs a number of programs that help people repair their broken lives. People can donate a wide range of items, from clothes to shoes and even used vehicles. 

The organization runs auto auctions with the vehicles that have been donated. This provides access to used vehicles for low-income earners. The money from the auctions is then used in the organizations’ other programs to provide further support.

About the Salvation Army Car Donation Program

How to receive a vehicle?

The first step is finding as much information about the program as possible. You can find your nearest Salvation Army branch on the organization’s website. After entering your zip code in the search bar, you will see the full address and contact phone number.

You should also find information about the auctions in your area. Auctions are held at different times of the year, and there may be several auctions near you. However, it is necessary to enroll to join some auctions and pay a small fee at the time of enrollment.

How does it work?

You visit the location before the auction and check out all the available vehicles. Then, you can inspect any vehicles that catch your eye and make sure they are in good condition. This includes examining the interior, opening the hood, and even starting the engine.

You’re now ready to take part in the auction…

But things tend to move fast, and you need to be quick off the mark to get the vehicle you want. So, keep your eyes on the prize and make sure you keep your budget firmly in mind when bidding.

If you have the highest bid, you will be the proud owner of a new vehicle. It’s now time to pay the bid price and drive away with your new vehicle.

The rules and requirements

You need to carefully review the requirements for assistance before making a request. Because there is a limited number of available vehicles, only those truly in need are selected. The charity sets out strict criteria for those who apply for a donated vehicle need to meet.

The criteria for eligibility include:

  • Permanent employment
  • A valid driving permit
  • No vehicle in the home
  • Eligible for insurance
  • No criminal record
  • Able to cover associated fees like taxes and fuel
  • DWIs or DUIs disqualify you
  • As does a record of drug or alcohol abuse

Providing evidence

You may be asked to provide documents that prove you meet the set criteria. And it is important to gather these documents before applying for assistance. This will help to make the application process quicker and smoother.

Providing evidence

The required documents may include:

  • Your rental lease
  • Driver’s license
  • An eviction notification
  • A photo of your ID
  • Utility bills
  • A medical certificate proving a serious issue

Help with car repairs

If you are driving on a low income, affording car repairs can also be a struggle. Moreover, if you are unable to pay for these repairs, you might be unable to use your vehicle. This means that applying for a donated vehicle is basically a waste of time.

Fortunately, it’s possible to apply for free financial aid to make necessary auto repairs. The assistance is usually reserved for essential repairs. So, you are likely to need to provide evidence of the need for the repairs before receiving aid.

Top tip…

It is a good idea to get a quote for the cost of the repairs before applying for auto aid. Your claim and the urgency of the repairs will then be evaluated. If you meet the requirements, you will then receive the financial assistance that you need. 

Getting a Donated Vehicle from Goodwill 

This is another charitable organization that accepts donations of all types of vehicles, including boats. Again, the donated vehicles are put up for auction, and only qualifying people can participate. Here are the steps you need to take to qualify for a donated vehicle and get your hands on one.

But be aware…

Goodwill takes a different approach to the Salvation Army. Instead of auctioning donated vehicles, most of these vehicles are sold outright and converted into cash. Vehicles that are not in roadworthy condition may be recycled so that the resulting cash can be passed on. However, you might be able to get your hands on one of these vehicles in certain circumstances. 

How to get started?

Register online

First, you need to head on over to the organization’s website and register. This is a very quick and easy process, and any supplied information will be kept private. You can then check out the requirements to make sure that you are eligible to receive a vehicle.

But take note…

Individual program policies are set for different parts of the United States. Therefore, it is best to check on the policies in your area before applying. This will help to make sure you are not disappointed when you arrive to collect a vehicle. 

Schedule an appointment

You need to find the location of your local Goodwill Auto Donation Center. Again, you can head on over to the organization’s website and find the details of the centers in your area. All you need to do is enter your city or zip code and select the closest location from the provided list.

Check availability first…

You can use the contact phone number provided to make sure the center has vehicles available. If there are no vehicles, you can call again and check in a week or so. However, if there are available vehicles, you can ask for details of the various options. You can then make an appointment to visit the center and check out the vehicle in person. 

Once you have scheduled an appointment, set aside plenty of time to thoroughly inspect the vehicles. Because you need to make sure the vehicle you choose is in good enough condition to meet your needs.

The required documents

Certain documents are required to prove your identification and show that you meet the qualifying criteria. So, make sure you prepare the documents in advance and bring them with you to the Goodwill Auto Donation Center. 

What happens next?

First, you will be asked to show some form of identification. This could be a driver’s license, a passport, or a passport card. You will also be asked to show recent pay stubs as proof of employment and utility bills to prove residency. 

Next, you will also be asked to show proof of current insurance coverage that applies to another vehicle. However, this could be a bit of a challenge if you don’t currently own a vehicle. Therefore, you might want to discuss this requirement when initially contacting the Goodwill Auto Donation Center.

Inspecting vehicles

As mentioned, the quality of donated vehicles can vary widely. So it is essential to make sure that the vehicle you choose is road safe and won’t require too much maintenance. Otherwise, you could end up paying a small fortune for repairs.

Inspecting vehicles

How to properly inspect a donated vehicle?

Take the time to check out all the hoses and belts for signs of fraying and other types of damage. Also, inspect the vehicle’s fluids to make sure they are at the proper levels. This includes the brake fluid, the coolant, and the washer fluid.

Another important step is inspecting the vehicle tires for wear. You need to have the tire pressure checked and ask to have the tires rotated. Otherwise, you could end up paying for a new set of tires almost immediately.

So, as you can see…

It is essential to have a mental checklist when inspecting used vehicles. If possible, it is also a good idea to bring someone knowledgeable with you to confirm that the vehicle is in good condition. So, if you’re lucky enough to be friends with a mechanic, ask them along, as they will be able to give you their professional opinion.

Now that we’ve fully covered how to get a donated car from Goodwill or the Salvation Army, you might also be interested in…

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Ok, back to today’s low-income vehicle assistance discussion…

Final Thoughts

In some parts of the United States, owning a reliable vehicle is essential. Because not all parts of the country boast strong public transportation networks, and getting around without a car can be tough. Fortunately, even with a low income, you may be able to receive a donated vehicle from the Salvation Army or Goodwill

Moreover, if you are fortunate enough to have a vehicle you don’t need, please consider donating it to charity. This is an easy and effective way to transform the life of someone you need. In addition to the satisfaction of giving back, you can also take advantage of tax breaks as a reward.

Wishing you a safe and enjoyable journey in your new car!

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