Cash for Clunkers Bill Concerns Car-Donation Groups

Clunkerresponse Car-donation groups are keeping a wary eye on the Cash for Clunkers bill, fearful that it will dry up a key supply of used cars. The bill is adding insult to injury for these groups, as it comes on top of a painfully bad economy that has already slowed donations.

"It's hard to say; I think [the bill] will have an impact," said Marty Schloss, cofounder of "I think it will hurt."

"Kars4Kids is certainly concerned that this legislation will impact our charitable work," Yehuda Meth, a spokesman for that charity, said in an email. "While the bill is purportedly to remove smog-producing cars from the road and benefit automakers, Kars4Kids is conscientiously doing our share by frequently taking cars with high emissions out of circulation."

Charity Development works with groups on car-donation programs, and spokesman Tim Finnigan said he sees trouble for groups who recirculate used cars.

"I think it's going to affect the ones that have retail programs or programs [where] they're trying to give back cars to individuals," he said.

Under the Cash for Clunkers bill, vehicles that get poor mileage can be traded in for a $3,500-$4,500 credit toward the purchase of a new vehicle with better gas mileage. Check out the details here. All the old vehicles traded in must be scrapped.

Individuals who donate their cars can claim a tax deduction for the sale price of the vehicle. While some new-car shoppers might be enticed by the Cash for Clunkers credit, Schloss isn't worried about continued donations from what he calls the altruistic types.

"That's not going to be affected at all," he said.  

However, Ed Kim, director of industry analysis at consulting firm AutoPacific, said that while he doesn't see the bill having a sizable impact on vehicle donations, he thinks something else may: "The economy would have a more significant impact on charitable donations of vehicles than Cash for Clunkers would," he said.

Finnigan said the economy is already playing a role in terms of donations, noting that business for him is off 15%-20% from previous years. With the Cash for Clunkers legislation, "if donations fall off to charities, it's just another kind of nail in the coffin for them," he said.

For those who do want to get rid of a car and help a charity, Schloss offers some advice to make the donation go further: "Sell your car yourself and give the money to charity."

By Mike Hanley | June 24, 2009 | Comments (20)



I don't think there would be a problem because most cars wouldn't qualify for CFC - 1. 2 - many people who has clunkers that qualify for such programs wouldn't be in position to buy a new car required by CFC.

I think, the donation nation is safe here.


Kars4Kids' main problem isn't this bill or the economy; it's their annoying radio commercials.

Rather than Cash for Clunkers, the goevernment could have stimulated car sales and helped the enivironment by just returning the tax deduction for a charitiable tax deduction back to the blue book value. Many donated vehicles are recycled. Those that are not scrapped are repaired.
Karen Campese, CEO


My registration expired in September of 2008 and I paid the late fees in November. I have owned the car for over 4 years and have been driving it. Do I still qualify for the program?


I think the idea was goods but the rules are terrible because this do not help maybe 10% off people can get this rebate. It should not cars for clunkers but trucks and suv's because that is the only trades that can get this rebate. I hope the gov. re do the rules to at lease 20 and not 18.


This program has run out of gas because someone is siphoning it. I doubt it will do much damage as people learn the specifics.

It is not the consumer the benefits. While good intentions may win some, it is what is really happening with this program that is troubling. There are scams and more. See,

Hello ,

Your recent coverage of Cash for Clunkers on the blog ( was spot on. Many people will not qualify for the government program so I thought you might be interested in more info on vehicle donation alternatives to the Cash for Clunkers program. You could help charities a lot by adding a link to our informational page on Cash for Clunkers versus charitable car donation -

Charity Assistance Team
Donate Car USA and for more than 400 charities
Toll-Free (888)-317-7279


I am having second thoughts about that, the good thing is to get ride of a lot of old guzzlers, but in the other side I know some Catholic charities in Texas whose members fix up old cars for single mothers, immigrants, students and any low income person. These people get old donated cars and keep them running for some extra years ( I did my college years myself with a 12 year old car and kept it until it was 18 years old)... not sure.

I believe that this program is aimed to the people who could buy a car without Government Charity.

These are provide Car Donation Program For Free With Same Day Pickup Service.


Now that the Cash for Clunkers program has come to an end, it should be quite beneficial for charities which accept used car donation. This means some hope for car donation charities as the economy recovers, and taxpayers start thinking of effective ways of receiving tax deductions and having their money go towards a worthy cause.


Well the Cash for Clunkers program was indeed considered a success in the eyes of the government, however it did take its toll on those charities which rely heavily on used car donation. You are correct, there most likely will be hope for these charities. For more info, visit

Yes, now that Cash for Clunkers is history we are seeing an improvement in car donation. It still seems such a terrible waste to destroy 700,000 running cars, many in good shape.

Cash for clunkers was a interesting idea. I think donating your car would be a better idea!



"The economy would have a more significant impact on charitable donations of vehicles than Cash for Clunkers would," I agree with it!

Good to know! I have been looking around for a while to donate my car. I am glad you are allowing your readers to become aware of the trials of vehicle. Luckily, after all my research I found a charity that gives the proceeds to job training in the community. It interested me because the program was an innovative way of contributing. I was glad to find a vehicle donation charity that was properly established. Goodwill Greater Washington was my choice because it was legitimate and is federally approved. They provide 501(c)(3)documents when you want to claim your deduction.
Proper job training is important in this job climate. With Goodwill's vehicle donation program, people can now receive job training that will advance them in the job environment. These are exciting opportunities for the many with little job training. I am now confident that I was careful when my donation was claimed.

Donate car and saves tax is a good idea .I think everyone have to do this like.

Great info.I like all your post.I will keep visiting this blog very often.It is good to see you verbalise from the heart and your clarity on this important subject can be easily observed.

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