Frequently Asked Questions

   A Family Receives a Ford Explorer   
                                                                                       A Family Receives a Chevy Malibu

What can I donate?

We accept vehicle donations, RVs, boats, trailers, trailer and mobile homes, motorcycles, jet skis, buses and snowmobiles.

Is there an advantage in donating my vehicle to Cars of Hope?

Yes definitely. Here are two reasons why.

You have the potential of receiving the highest tax deduction possible. If your vehicle qualifies to be a Program Car you are able to claim the full market value when it was given to us. Most donation organizations sell vehicles donated that have been given to them and do not provide you the full market value.

Our Program Cars are repaired with donated  labor or significantly discounted services from local auto specialty shops. Cars of Hope is a 100% volunteer team of auto enthusiasts who have other sources of income and receive no compensation from this organization.


How much will I receive as a tax deduction for my used car?
The IRS allows you to claim a tax deduction of:

a) The market value of your vehicle for - if it becomes a Program Car that COH donates to someone in the community.
b) The amount we sell your vehicle for - if it is to costly to repair and is sold for more than $500 you will receive an IRS form stating the sale amount. If is sold for less that $500 you may take a maximum deduction of $500.
Receipts will be issued by Cars of Hope that is a classified 501(c)(3) charity organization.
What is a Program car?
A Program Car is a vehicle that has been donated to Cars of Hope which will be given to a deserving family in our community. It is a vehicle that is safe, reliable and affordable.

My vehicle hasn't run in years. Can I still donate my car?

Yes, most car donations are accepted, running or not.

If I live in the Midwest am I able to donate my vehicle to Cars of Hope?

Yes, we accept and will pickup vehicles in most places in the Midwest United States. It may take us a little longer to pickup your vehicle if you live outside the Chicago-land geographical area.

Will you accept vehicle donations with an engine not running or with other mechanical problems?

Yes! Even 'non-runners' have significant value.

What do I need to know about signing my title?

When signing your title, please make certain that you print and sign your name as the "Seller" in EXACTLY the way it appears on the face of the title.

What should I do with my license plate after I donate my car?
In Illinois you should remove the license plates before the tower arrives and return them to the DMV.

Do I have to be home when you pick up my car?
No! Just clean the car of any personal belongings and leave the keys and title on the passenger side front visor tilted back up to the ceiling of the vehicle. Please leave at least one door unlocked.

What happens if there's a problem with my car after it's donated?
You are responsible for the car until it is picked up. You are liable for all previous storage charges and previous fines. Once the car has been picked up we take full responsibility.

Will I get a temporary receipt at the time of the pick-up?

You will receive a temporary receipt from the towing company at the time of the pick up. A taxable receipt will be mailed to you in the near future.

When will I get my official tax receipt?
We will have it mailed to you within two months if your vehicle will become a Program Car that we will donate to a deserving family. If your vehicle does not qualify to become a Program Car, it will need to be sold and we will send you a receipt shortly after we sell it.

Is there any expense involved on my part, like towing charges?

No. There is absolutely no charge.

What areas do you service?
Western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois

Who will pick up my vehicle donation?
A member of Cars for Hope will arrange to have your vehicle moved. We generally use local towing contractors to pickup donated vehicles.

How long will it take for my car to be picked up?
The average pickup time for car donations is within a week from your initial contact with us. Generally we are able to do this sooner if there is an urgent need.

What if I don't have my title?

We do pick up vehicle donations without a title. We will require proof of ownership which might be in the form of Vehicle Registration, a Bill of Sale, Insurance Policy, etc.


If someone passed away can the car still be donated?

We can pick up the vehicle as long as you have a copy of the death certificate and documentation that you are the official inheritor of the deceased’s belongings.

What if my car didn't pass the emission test?
We'll be happy to accept your car even if it failed or lapsed the emissions test.

Will my car be junked or used for parts?

How your donations will be handled depends on its condition and on other variable factors.Very few vehicles are junked or sold to a salvage yard.

Can I donate an abandoned car?

If the car is in your possession we can sometimes pick up your vehicle donations without a title. We will require proof of ownership which might be in the form of a Bill of Sale, Insurance Policy, etc.

How does a Deserving Family obtain a car from Cars of Hope?

All Cars of Hope clients apply for a car through a Cars of Hope approved agency who acts as a sponsor. There is a detailed application process that the client goes through to verify need and that a proper car is provided to meet family needs.