There has always been the option of donating your old car to a charity, and still is. But as recent as 2009, the U.S. Government sponsored a program that would pay you cold, hard cash for your old clunker.
This “cash for clunkers” program, called the Car Allowance Rebate System, provided three billion dollars in funds for each and every junk car that was turned in. This money in turn was used by citizens to purchase new cars that were more fuel efficient, and of course the spending helped the auto industry and helped the sputtering economy overall.
This was a popular program for a number of reasons. One reason why people were so quick to jump on board was because of the extra money they would receive. Generally, the amount of cash that was given for these older vehicles was a significant increase on what might have been offered by simply trading in the car for a newer one. Even the government wasn’t able to predict how much interest would be garnered in this project, and they ran out of money several months earlier than expected.
But does this mean there’s no reason to donate a car to charity? Absolutely not: In nearly every city there is an organization that will take your used car and give you a tax break for it.
But for other people who decided to become involved with the rebate system, they looked at it as a chance to upgrade. This car donation program was just the incentive needed for some people to decide to buy a newer car. Presumably their old car was still driving fine, so there was no immediate need to purchase something new, but with this opportunity, especially considering the amount of cash given, a lot of people were encouraged to go ahead and buy new vehicles.
A main factor in the decision to donate a used car to the Car Allowance Rebate System was out of concern for the environment. Obviously, vehicles cause pollution, but the newer cars being designed and made now are far more fuel efficient and therefore more environmentally friendly than even those vehicles made just a few years earlier. So even if someone had a car that was only a couple of years old, the opportunity to trade it in to the vehicle donation program meant that they could purchase a newer car and reduce their negative impact on the earth.
The number of people who wanted to donate a used car was so unexpectedly high that more money was put into the program to satisfy the demand. As a result, there may be another system set up in the near future to continue to provide support to the struggling auto industry and to take measures that will hopefully help the environment.
In the meantime, consider donating that old car to a worthwhile charity. You’ll be knocking out 3 things at once:
- You’ll be making room for another car – getting rid of perhaps an eyesore for the neighborhood.
- You’ll be getting a tax deduction.
- And best of all, you’ll be doing a good thing for someone by your charity car donation.