Where to Donate a Car in San Diego or Orange County

The following charitable organization accepts donated cars, trucks, motorcycles and more. All are section 501(c)(3) organizations, so they meet IRS requirements for a tax deduction from your charitable donation.

Help San Diego continue to be a terrific place to live by supporting these local charities. They are all set up for vehicle donations, and do them regularly, so you can count on them giving you all the right paperwork and handling the donation and title transfer properly. Please note that not all these charities will use your car — most will sell your car at auction and use the proceeds of the sale for their work. This affects how much of a tax deduction you can get; typically the tax deduction for an auctioned car is about $500. If you can find a charity that will actually use your car, or give your car to a needy person, or will make significant repairs and improvements to the car before they sell it, then you can get a larger deduction. If a charity uses the car, gives the car away, or improves the car, it will be mentioned in the review.

San Diego Humane Society and SPCA

Your car does not have to be running for the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA to take it. They also can pick it up for you, usually within 48 hours. They do not handle vehicle donations themselves but work through Charitable Auto Resources. You can call (877) 540-7387 to arrange to have your car picked up. They take just about anything with a motor, including planes and tractors and they will process all the DMW paperwork for you. Just hand it over to your accountant or CPA and you’re done.

American Melanoma Foundation

This charity supports research toward curing one of the most common and difficult cancers. It also spreads the word about effective sun protection, especially to children and parents. They are not listed on Charity Navigator. While they do not manage their own car donations, and they will liquidate your car at an auction, rather than actually give it to someone, their use of Donate Car USA does mean that you’ll be working with one of the major car donation companies, so you’re going to a proven, known processor. They know what they’re doing.

Cal-Diego Paralyzed Veterans Association

This charity accepts car donations through both Donate Car US and Action Donation Services. They do also offer partial cash payments, which can be an excellent, legal, and IRS-approved way to get much more for your donated vehicle that just the regular tax deduction. Basically, it means this charity is actually willing to pay you a bit for your donated vehicle, in addition to the same tax deduction you would otherwise qualify for. The Cal-Diego Paralyzed Veterans Association is a chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, which does have a Charity Navigator one star review.