Donating your vehicle to charity can impact a life. Your donated vehicle can make it easier for recipients to get to work, shopping, school, and other activities. Most organizations allow you to claim your vehicle donation as a tax deduction. Your tax deduction is affected by how the charity uses the vehicle you donated.

Many organizations sell or salvage donated vehicles and use the funds towards operations expenses or charitable work. Others may give donated vehicles to those in need. You should complete research on the charity to see what they do with donated cars and ensure that yours will be accepted in its current condition.

Vehicles for Change is one of several local organization based in Maryland that empowers families with financial challenges to achieve economic and personal independence through car ownership and technical training. They use the vehicle donations in a variety of ways to help those in need.

Upon receiving a donated vehicle, the organization determines how it can best be used. If a car is cannot be reconditioned to be given to a program recipient, it is sold to help fund the charity’s operations. However, vehicles that meet certain criteria are repaired and provided to approved recipients who are low-income. Many of the recipients are single mothers with two to three children. The donations make a difference to these families as the parent can get to and from work without relying on public transportation and can get their children to after-school activities that they may not have been able to attend before due to transportation issues.

Vehicles for Change also offers a workforce development training program called Full Circle Auto Repair and Training Center. This program provides skills to men and women reentering the workforce from incarceration and those with multiple barriers to employment to become ASE student-level certified auto mechanics. The program’s instructors and interns inspect donated vehicles to determine whether they can be donated, need some work, or should be sold. They perform repairs on any cars that need work.

Families that receive cars through Vehicles for Change are required to purchase the vehicle for a small price with a loan underwritten through a partnership with Sandy Spring Bank, which helps build a positive credit history. Vehicle recipients are also provided with an orientation course that prepares them for car ownership and outlines additional costs to consider, including vehicle maintenance and auto insurance. Maryland Auto works with Vehicles for Change to ensure that all program participants have access to auto insurance.

If you’re considering donating a vehicle, you can contact Vehicles for Change to begin the donation process by visiting their website For more information on the steps to take when donating your car, go to:

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