How to Donate Your Car in Silicon Valley

The daily sludge of stop and go traffic has finally taken a toll on your old car. And at the car dealership they are only going to give you a resale value of what amounts to a double decaf latte. To save yourself money, trouble and time trying to sell it on you own, you can donate your car. Because starting on January 1st of this year taxpayers can deduct the full amount of the sale of the vehicle.

The donation process is simple. Goodwill of Silicon Valley ( located on Almaden Expressway, accepts vehicles but preferably running. Donations are used to assist those with disabilities or other barriers to achieve employment by providing vocational services. They do pick-ups during regular business hours, provide you with a tax receipt and you in turn will have to sign over the vehicle and provide keys. The registered owner must be there at time of pick-up. They will clean, detail and do minor refurbishment on the car to maximize the sale. You can fill out a form online or contact them at 1-877-241-8753.

First Charity Cars ( on Hamilton Avenue accepts used cars to refurbish and sell. The donation is split sixty/forty; the sixty percent going to the charity of your choice and forty going to First Charity to cover expenses. This affects you in no way, they just want you to know where the money is going. Proceeds go to charities such as the South Bay Children’s Medical Center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Doran for the Blind and Visually Impaired. First charity will usually pick-up usually within forty-eight hours. Also at the time of pick-up they will give a tax receipt for the charity you’ve selected, a Kelly Blue Book print out (although you do have to request this ahead of time) and a release of liability form. The liability release is a two page form; one you send to the DMV and the other for First Charity to keep for their records. You need to provide keys, certificate of ownership and a signature on the Bill of Sale. If you don’t have a pink slip, a duplicate slip form will be provided to you. They accept most vehicles, running or not, however it still has to have value after towing expenses. Available online is a donation form to fill out or you can also contact First Charity at 408-370-0920.

What both charities state is that the pricing structure is based on the car’s retail value and the selling price is typically greater than what you would receive from a private party sale. First Charity notifies you within thirty days of sale so you have a better write off. Goodwill’s pricing structure is based on the car’s retail value translating to a higher tax deduction. Both charities also accept boats and RVs if you so choose. You can visit the Kelly Blue Book website to find out the value of the vehicle you’d like to donate.

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