Trade School Vehicle Donations: A Guide For Interested Individuals

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Once you make an investment in a new vehicle, if you don't trade your current car in at the dealership, you will be left with an extra vehicle that may hold little use value. You could always stick a for sale sign on it or call up a scrapyard and see if you can get a few hundred bucks, but if you are not looking for extra money, donating your vehicle to a trade school is a perfect solution. 

What are the vehicles actually used for once they are donated?

Trade schools across the country are constantly looking for vehicles they can use in their mechanic's courses and yours could very well be put to good use. Most trade schools offer courses in which students learn about the various parts of an engine, transmission, and vehicle. From mechanical courses that focus on engine rebuilds and problem-solving to classes on auto body repair, your vehicle could be used to help students gain the hands-on experience that they need. 

Does your car have to be in a certain condition to be donated?

In most cases, trade schools will take any vehicle donation they can get, whether or not the vehicle is mechanically sound or even sound in construction. Because students will be learning to install new components, rebuild existing components, and even look for problems if a car is not running, almost any vehicle in any shape can be helpful.

How do you find trade schools that need vehicles?

The easiest way to find out about trade schools that are looking for vehicle donations is to just seek a few out online and give them a call. If you have a trade school in your area, stop by and ask about vehicle donation needs. Even if the school in your area is not in need or donations, they can likely help you get in touch with a trade school that is accepting donations currently. 

Is your vehicle donation tax deductible?

In most cases, you will be able to take a tax deduction when you donate your car to a trade school. The IRS will allow you to take a deduction that is the same as the fair market value of your vehicle at the time that it was donated. In order to take advantage of this deduction, you will need written acknowledgment of the donation from the trade school to which you donate.