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How to Get a Donated Car from Salvation Army (Quick Way)

This is my complete guide to How to Get a Donated Car from Salvation Army.

This article deals with all aspects of The Salvation Army car donation program. From defining Salvation Army cars to discussing how to receive a donated vehicle to further explaining Salvation Army auto auctions which are another vital part of this Salvation Army car donation for low-income families and other needy groups, we are going to take a deep dive into answering the question: How to Get a Donated Car From Salvation Army?

We are additionally going to briefly look into similar options and programs similar to Salvation Army Car Donation that provide donated vehicles and even other forms of transportation aid.

Introduction: How to Get a Donated Car from Salvation Army


Cars are one the most baffling inventions made by humans in the nineteenth century and have evolved tremendously into the zooming four wheelers we get to see on the roads every day. They have provided incredible ease to humans from not only industrial and transportation aspects but have also become an indispensable part of our personal lives today.

It is no surprise to anyone that cars are an expensive commodity and still remain unaffordable to a major chunk of the population. They’ve been considered a luxury for a long period of time and although times are changing, the economic feasibility of cars is still a dream for many but the practical need of cars is becoming basically unavoidable.

Sure, there exist provisions for car loans but what about the people who are unable to qualify for these loans which require collateral or proof of payback?

We are talking about the neediest section of the society here which includes but is not limited to: the homeless, unemployed, disabled, single moms, veterans, etc. who may be working one or numerous minimum wage jobs and cutting out basic utilities from the minimalistic amount with is sadly accompanied by little or no savings or safety.

Various organizations, government as well as non-government non-profits recognize this gap and try to bridge it through various programs which provide transportation aid in the form of donated vehicles, lenient loans, gas coupons, etc.

One such program is The Salvation Army car donation program provides donated cars in the name of Salvation Army cars through Salvation Army auto auctions that they conduct periodically to provide donated Salvation Army cars for sale to ensure that the needy groups of the society have some means to fulfil their dream of owning a vehicle.

Need of Salvation Army Car Donation

Need of Salvation Army Car Donation

As mentioned, cars are expensive even if bought on an installment basis and broadly remain out of reach for the financially unstable part of the population.

This is where The Salvation Army car donation which provides affordable donated Salvation Army cars comes into the picture. The need for Salvation Army cars for sale at cheap prices can be divided into two parts, the economic and the practical need. Let’s take a brief look into each.

The economic need for the Salvation Army car donation program is quite obvious and simple. The average price of buying a new car comes to about forty-two thousand dollars which approximately averages to about five hundred fifty dollars a month which gets topped up with costs of maintenance, gas, emergencies, etc.

which is undoubtedly too steep for groups juggling various small jobs with the minimum wage not even being nine dollars an hour in most places. The Salvation Army car donation allows these needy groups of people to buy used or second-hand cars at unbelievably affordable rates which helps them greatly in their everyday life.

Now let’s take a look at the practical need for Salvation Army cars. This need for Salvation Army car donation can be closely linked to the role of a car in the layman’s life. In today’s world, owning a car can be a game-changer in the employment industry.

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Having a car, even a second-hand or donated Salvation Army car gives great transportation feasibility which opens up employment opportunities which may not be pursued earlier due to lack of physical proximity. Juggling multiple jobs becomes easier and a whole new realm of employment opportunities with the ownership of a car.

Some of the said opportunities include being a delivery partner, car wrapping which is displaying ads on your car for free money, etc. Let’s not forget the great ease it provides in routine activities. Not owning a car can put anyone at a disadvantage.

The Salvation Army car donation program as well as many similar schemes like the Goodwill Wheels for Work program try to provide cars and transportation help to people who absolutely require it so that not owning a car due to unavailability of resources never puts a needy person at a disadvantage.

The Salvation Army:

The Salvation Army

Before jumping into the particulars about the Salvation Army car donation program, let’s take a quick look into the organization that is providing this help.

The Salvation Army is primarily a Protestant Church. It is also extended as an international charitable institute, one of the most popular and widespread ones with its headquarters in London. They have a membership strength of over 1.7 million who identify as Salvationists and together provide help in all forms to people irrespective of their ethnicity, background or religion.

The aid provided by The Salvation Army is noted to be quite varied and ranges from thrift stores, food pantries, and toy drives to financial rental help, Salvation Army cars, etc.

What is the Salvation Army Car Donation Program

What is the Salvation Army Car Donation Program

Like the name suggests, the Salvation Army car donation program provides second-hand donated cars. These Salvation Army cars are targeted toward people who cannot afford a vehicle or even qualify for a car loan. This program deals with two parts: donation of cars and the distribution of these donated cars to people.

The process of donating cars has been made simple and time-efficient. The distribution of these donated ‘Salvation Army cars’ are done through Salvation Army auto auctions where they provide Salvation Army cars for sale at affordable rates. Both the donation and acquiring process of these cars have been discussed in detail in later sections.

Which Type of Cars Can Be Donated as Salvation Army Cars

Which Type of Cars Can Be Donated as Salvation Army Cars


Do you or your friends and family want to donate cars to The Salvation Army? If so, you are doing a noble deed! The Salvation Army car donation program accepts a wide range of vehicles ranging from cars, golf carts, motorcycles, motor-homes, etc.

Even if you have an old car or your car meets with an accident and the repairing or maintenance costs don’t seem profitable anymore, donation poses as your best option.

Even if the car isn’t in the best condition, The Salvation Army arranges a pick-up and tows it to the required center to get it fixed and delivered to one of its Salvation Army car auctions where they are put up as Salvation Army cars at sale at incredibly low prices.

Why Donate Cars to the Salvation Army Car Donation Program

Why Donate Cars to the Salvation Army Car Donation Program

If you and your friends or family donate cars to the Salvation Army, the benefits are dual-faceted. It has a moral as well as a financial aspect. Helping each other is one of human’s inbuilt and distinguishing moral characteristics.

Donating something you do not need so that it can reach someone who desperately needs it but cannot afford it maintains the balance of needs despite the financial turmoil which is taking over the world.

Donation is also a great way to give back to the community and organizations like The Salvation Army help to achieve this goal and ensure that your contributions are reaching the people who need them the most while ensuring that you are not being ripped off or scammed during an act of helpfulness.

Now coming to the financial aspect of The Salvation Army Car Donation Program to the donors. If you decide to contribute to their cause by donating a vehicle to them, you receive a considerable tax deduction. This tax deduction is not uniform for all donations and depends on the car being donated.

A thorough inspection of your donated ‘Salvation Army car’ and all the financial particulars are made. After the required paperwork and verification of forms and documents, the donor is provided with a tax deduction after the sale of his or her car at one of the Salvation Army auto auctions.

How to Donate Cars to the Salvation Army

How to Donate Cars to the Salvation Army

The process of donating cars so they can be used as Salvation Army cars and providing them to low-income families and individuals at affordable rates has been made incredibly simple for the ease of the donor.

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Let’s understand the process of giving away a vehicle to the Salvation Army car donation for low-income families.

The first step is to go to the official website of The Salvation Army. You will find a tab labelled as “Donate Now”. If you are unable to place this tab, you can find a number to contact them on the website itself and ask them for the link.

Proceed to fill in all the required particulars. This information is quite basic and takes less than five minutes of your time. A coordinator will then contact you and enquire about the soon to be ‘Salvation Army car’. This is to understand the state of the vehicle being donated.

Depending on the process so far, you will receive an email with a temporary or confirmation receipt which will include the donation reference number which you should take a note of and remember. This email will also entail a clear outline for the procedure that is to be followed in order to complete your donation.

You will be required to provide a suitable and convenient date and time for the towing driver to come and pick up your newly donated Salvation Army car. This driver will guide you through the DMV forms and signing of the title during the pickup which he will happily process for your ease.

You will then receive a signed receipt which you are required to hold on to. If you still have any questions about the donation or anything that follows, this receipt needs to be taken to the volunteers of the Salvation Army car donation program.

Your car will then be put up in a Salvation Army auto auction at an affordable price for people to buy. After the sale of your donated Salvation Army car, you will get an IRS 1098-C tax deduction form within thirty days.

Now that we have discussed the donor aspect of the Salvation Army car donation for low-income families, let us now look at the receiving end of it which includes the people who receive these Salvation Army cars.

How to Receive a Donated Vehicle from the Salvation Army

How to Receive a Donated Vehicle from the Salvation Army

This is generally done through Salvation Army car auctions which are conducted both online and offline where salvation army cars for sale are marked at affordable prices for the low-income population. An auction can be best described as a public sale where certain types of goods or products are sold to the highest bidder.

In a similar fashion, during Salvation Army car auctions that are conducted, people bid on the donated ‘Salvation Army cars’ which are still comparatively less expensive than its counter options. Following is a step-by-step process in order for you to participate in a Salvation Army car auction.

  1. Visit the official website of The Salvation Army. Following is the official link: https://www.salvationarmy.org/
  2. Wondering how to find a Salvation Army car donation near me? On their official website, you’ll find an option where you can enter your zip code. This will present you with all the Salvation Army centers near you along with their areas and phone numbers.
  3. The next step is to call these numbers provided and enquire about the next Salvation Army auto auction. You can also call the local library and ask for information about the upcoming Salvation Army car auctions. It is ensured that two such auctions never happen at the same time so you are bound to not miss out on a Salvation Army car which might be perfect for you. It should be noted that most of these Salvation Army auto actions are done with the help of a professional auction company or the Salvation Army personnel each month.
  4. There is a possibility that you will be required to do registration in the case of a certain Salvation Army auto auction. This is done to ensure that there is no overcrowding or excessive competition for the Salvation Army cars and vehicles provided. There might be a small registration fee.
  5. It is advisable to reach the Salvation Army auto auction before time and have a good look at the donated Salvation Army cars that have been presented for sale. It is uncommon for a list of vehicles to be provided beforehand by the organizers of these Salvation Army auto auctions and that is why this step is crucial. A close examination of the Salvation Army cars for sale is a must and should be cross-checked with a pre-made list that entails your needs and limitations in terms of use and finances.
  6. Once you find a Salvation Army car for sale that fits your needs, take a note of its serial number and be extra cautious during the proceedings of the auction as they tend to go forward quickly. Keep in mind to not go over your decided budget as there will be more Salvation Army car auctions to follow but the money you have to invest remains limited.
  7. Talk to the management, sign the necessary paperwork and then proceed to take your Salvation Army car home! Most Salvation Army auto auctions do provide transportation arrangements for cars that are not in the condition to be driven away immediately.
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Rules and Requirements for the Salvation Army Car Donation for Low-Income Families

Rules and Requirements for the Salvation Army Car Donation for Low-Income Families


If you are pondering how to get a car that was donated to The Salvation Army, the first step is to qualify for the various affordable Salvation Army cars for sale. This cross verification is done to ensure that these Salvation Army cars end up in the hands of those who need them the most.

Following is a detailed description of the eligibility criteria to qualify in order to avail of the benefits from the Salvation Army car donation program:

The applicant needs to have a job and should be in possession of some type of proof of employment or salary slip. He or she should also have a valid driving license in the state of his or her residence. Your capability for getting ensured might also affect your chances of getting a Salvation Army car, meaning you should have no record of DWI-driving while being impaired or a DUI driving under an alcoholic influence.

An applicant has a higher chance of receiving help from the Salvation Army car donation program if they do not have another vehicle, an offence record nor drug addiction. The applicant is given an edge if he or she is seen as capable of covering the upkeep and maintenance of the Salvation Army car he or she is bound to receive.

Competition in the Salvation Army Car Donation for Low-Income Families

Competition in the Salvation Army Car Donation for Low-Income Families

As mentioned earlier, this program along with its Salvation Army car auctions broadly works on the foundation of donations. Irrespective of a considerable contribution being made to the Salvation Army car donation for low-income families, there are bound to be people who are unable to afford or find a suitable vehicle for them.

The people applying to these Salvation Army auto auctions are also strong in number which can increase the competition in acquiring the Salvation Army car for sale that you might have your eyes on.

How to receive a donated vehicle for sure? There is no perfect answer to this as most organizations providing such aid work with tight resources and financial bounds. So, it is just wise to look into similar programs that provide affordable and free cars for people in need.

Most of these organizations are extremely similar in aim and function to the Salvation Army car donation program that we have discussed. Some of these plans are more focused on certain groups, meaning they streamline their applicants to meet the needs of only certain groups.

For instance, carsforvets.org, VetCars and VeteranCarDonations focus on providing transportation aid to just vets while Goodwill’s Wheels for Work programs solely focus on people who require help for employment-related transportation. Women to Work provides similar help to working women.

Then we have organizations and programs which are open to all to apply for, exactly like the Salvation Army car donation for low-income families. These programs include 1800 charities, Habitat for Humanity, Free Charity Cars, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Some frequently asked questions about ‘How to Get a Donated Car From Salvation Army?’ have been answered below.

Is It Possible to Bid Online at the Salvation Army Auto Auctions?

For most of the Salvation Army auto auctions that are conducted, there is an option to bid on the vehicles online whose particulars and photographs can be found on their official website. This provision should be enquired about beforehand.

Does the Salvation Army Car Donation Program Provide a Pick-Up Service for the Donors?

Yes, the Salvation Army does provide a pick-up service for the donors of the ‘Salvation Army cars’ to ensure ease on the part of donors during the donation process.

Do Donors Receive Tax Benefits from Their Donation to the Salvation Army Car Donation Program?

The noble deed of donating a vehicle to the Salvation Army car donation program does not go unpaid, financially or morally.

After the proper documentation and verification, which can be understood by the Salvation Army volunteers for free, the donors of the Salvation Army cars can obtain a considerable tax deduction.

Are Salvation Army Cars Focused on Any Particular Social, Ethnic or Religious Group?

No, the Salvation Army donation program does not restrict its care and resources to any one particular group. Any person who can pass the qualification criteria which have been described in detail above has a fair chance of receiving a Salvation Army car.

Can I Miss One Salvation Army Auto Auction Due to Another?

No, the Salvation Army car donation program ensures that no two Salvation Army auto auctions are scheduled at the same date and time. This is done to ensure that people have access to all the donated Salvation Army cars for sale available in their vicinity and they can make a well-informed decision.

How to Locate a Salvation Army Car Donation near Me?

There is a provision on the official website of the Salvation Army which provides all its centers after entering the required zip code.

The Article Comes to an End

The Salvation Army car donation program has the potential to change numerous lives and even if one cannot donate our own vehicles to their cause, one should try to contribute on every possible level by spreading information about the various Salvation Army auto auctions that are taking place to ensure that people are at least aware about the various opportunities available to them or by volunteering at their events.

There is a huge financial crisis dawning on the lives of low-income families and owning a car can feel like an unreachable goal, but with the right knowledge and a strategic plan, anyone who deserves it, can own a vehicle!



John Reese

John Resse has worked in Government Grants and Loans for 5 Years, and is currently the Editor in Chief of CarAssists. He lives in Newark, NJ with family and sometime enjoys weekly vacation.

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