Q. I just bought a new car. My old car still has a few good miles left and I am thinking about donating it to some charity. I am unsure how to do this and what to look out for. I do not want this to come back and be a problem, but I also know that there are a lot of people out there who could use a car to get to work. What should I do? N.P., Langhorne
A. Before you donate your vehicle make sure you do some homework.
Check to make sure that the charity is registered to solicit with the charity registration office. You can reach the Bureau of Charity Donations at 1-800-736-0999. The Bureau also has a website address at www.dos.state.pa.us.
Find out what happens to the donated car. Some programs give your car to a needy family. Others could sell your car to raise funds for their organization.
When you find a charity that you want to give your car to make sure you remove your license plate.
Make sure the title is signed and notarized so the vehicle is not in your name. Keep copies of your documentation showing that the vehicle is no longer yours. You may never need to pull it out, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Donating your vehicle is very generous, but you may also want to check with your accountant for any tax benefits that may be associated with this donation.
Ask for a copy of the organization’s Internal Revenue Service determination letter that verifies the soliciting group is tax exempt as a charity. Do not assume that a charitable-sounding organization requesting donations is eligible to receive tax-deductible gifts.
Call Bucks county consumer protection with questions or concerns at 1-800-942-2669.