Frequently Asked Questions

We donate cars to individuals who are sponsored by one of our partner social agencies. Contact the management of the social agency you are working with, and if they are willing to help you, ask them to complete an application for you to Cars of Hope.

You will be helping someone in your community with serious transportation needs!

Cars of Hope is the only car donation organization fully run by volunteers in the western suburbs of Chicago
whose mission is helping give cars to people who have fallen on hard times so they can get back on their feet
financially. Many of the volunteers are retired or have other sources of income.

Cars of Hope accepts car donations (including SUVs, light trucks), RVs, boats, trailers, trailer and mobile
homes, motorcycles, jet skis, buses and snowmobiles.

Yes definitely. Here are two reasons why:

  1. You have the potential of receiving the highest tax deduction possible. If your car 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 cars donated that have been given to them and do not provide you the full market value.
  2. 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.

The IRS allows you to claim a tax deduction of:

  • The market value of your vehicle for – if it becomes a Program Car that Cars of Hope donates to someone in the community.
  • The amount we sell your vehicle for – if it is too 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 than $500 you may take a maximum deduction of $500.

Receipts will be issued by Cars of Hope which is classified as a 501(c)(3) charity organization.

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.

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

We are based in the Chicagoland area. We accept and will pick up vehicles in most locations in the Midwest United States. It may take us a little longer to pick up your vehicle if you live outside the Chicagoland geographical area. Regardless of where you live, if your vehicle is in the Midwest United States, we will gladly pick up your donated vehicle.

Yes! Even cars that do not run have significant value. We take nearly all legitimately donated cars.

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.

In Illinois you should remove the license plates before you donate your car to Cars of Hope and
return them to your local Secretary of State Vehicle Services facility near you. If you are not able to remove
the license plates from your car, as a free courtesy service, Cars of Hope will have your license plates
removed and destroyed.

No! Just clean the car of any personal belongings and leave the keys and title under the driver’s seat of the car. Please leave at least one door unlocked (a rear passenger door).

You are only responsible for the car until it is picked up. You are liable for all previous storage charges and previous fines that might have occurred prior to the donation. Once the car has been picked up, Cars of Hope takes full responsibility.

You will receive a temporary receipt from the towing company at the time of the pick up or we will send you an email acknowledging your donation. An official tax receipt will be mailed to you. You will receive a preliminary email receipt sometime shortly after your donated car is picked up as proof of your donation. An official tax receipt will be mailed to you at a later time.

Your official tax receipt will be mailed to you within two months if your vehicle becomes a Program Car. 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.

We are located in the Western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois picking up in the Chicagoland area and will pick up cars in surrounding states (Midwest USA). 

A member of Cars for Hope will arrange to have your car picked up. We generally use local towing contractors to pickup donated cars, many who provide nonprofit services to Cars of Hope.

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.

We do pick up car donations without a title.

We will have you sign a power of Attorney to obtain a duplicate title and proof of ownership, which might be in the form of the Vehicle Registration, a Bill of Sale, Insurance Policy, etc.

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 property.

We’ll be happy to accept your car even if it failed or time has lapsed for the emissions test.

How your car donation will be handled depends on its condition and on other factors, such where the car is in its economic life.

If the car is in your possession, we can sometimes pick up your car donation without a title. Working with one of our car dealers we may be able work out your car donation.