If you have an old car to donate to a cause, but find that the charity that you like isn’t equipped to directly accept it, you can go through a car donation processing company. They are able to take your car away for free, sell it, and give the proceeds to the charity (after first taking a cut for themselves). Sometimes, though, these companies tend to be run poorly or to reward themselves excessively.
While using a car donations processor is a good way to quickly donate an old car to a charity, then, you need to be careful. You need to find a processor that does a good job while only accepting a reasonable cut for its services.
DonateACar.Com – America’s Car Donation Center
America’s Car Donation Center at DonateACar.com is a popular car donations processor. The company has been around since 1992, operates in all 50 states, and promises to accept cars free of charge, no matter what condition they may be in. They sell these cars, pass the funds obtained to the charity of your choice, and give you the receipt that you need to claim a tax deduction from the IRS.
Before you use America’s Car Donation Center, though, you need to do some research, yourself.
To begin, check for BBB accreditation
If you are planning on using a car donations processor, looking it up on the BBB’s business section is always a good idea.
America’s Car Donation Center doesn’t have BBB accreditation. Lack of accreditation doesn’t necessarily mean that a business isn’t any good, though – among dozens of good car donation companies in business, only a couple have accreditation. This company, though, has a couple of complaints on BBB.
Fortunately, the complaints aren’t about the way they handle car donations or pass the money they generate from sales to charities. Rather, they are minor complaints from individuals who have bought used cars from the company. While the law requires sellers of cars to transfer title to buyers within 30 days of a sale, America’s Car Donation Center takes 90 days. The company is being sued by buyers over its tardiness.
The fact that the BBB records no complaints to do with the way the company handles the money it receives is a positive sign.
Find out what kind of cut the company takes
It’s usually a good idea to not use the services of car donations companies that advertise heavily.
For instance, “donating a used car” is one of the most expensive keyword phrases on Google. Car donations processors are usually willing to pay $50 for each click that they receive. Using such a company would be a bad idea.
While you can ask the charity that you plan to have the proceeds of your car donation go to for a recommendation of donations processor, you might not get a definite answer – charities tend to not criticize these companies. They rely on them for the donations they receive.
While the IRS doesn’t have rules to do with the size of the cut that donations processing firms are allowed to keep, the best ones tend to accept no more than 45% to 50%. The attorney generals of several states have begun to sue companies that accept too large a cut, though.
Donateacar.com doesn’t publish information about the size of its fee on each car processed. This isn’t a good sign — it could mean that the company takes too large a cut.
It’s important to make sure that buyers aren’t cheated
Car donations processors are in the business of helping get money to charitable causes. It wouldn’t make sense if they were dishonest with the people that they sold their used cars to, though. Before you give a car to a charity, you need to make sure that they don’t use dishonest sales practices to sell their cars.
America’s Car Donation Center has no complaints to do with its car sales practice on consumer review sites.
Overall, America’s Car Donation Center turns out to be a reasonable bet for anyone who wishes to donate a car to charity.
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