Free Car Assistance: How and Where to Apply
Being given a free vehicle can make a great difference in someone’s life, especially those who are on a very low income or dealing with financial hardship. Taking public transport can be costly, especially when you have to use it regularly, it can also be unreliable and inconvenient. Studies have shown that having a vehicle is important to being self-sufficient and obtaining on-going employment opportunities.
Fortunately, there are multiple options for low income families and individuals to gain access to a vehicle. Donations of cars to charities are very high due to certain tax breaks available from the government and provide different organizations great vehicles to tune up and pass on. Many non-profits focus their free car programs on the unemployed, low income earners, pensioners, disabled and rural residents with limited public transport.
If you are in need of a car but cannot afford it, the following is a detailed guide on how to get a free car.
*Note – While obtaining a vehicle can be helpful, it can also be a financial burden.
Can You Afford Your Vehicle?
Consider whether you will have the money to run the vehicle after the car is purchased or given to you. This can be done by calculating your monthly income, deducting any ongoing expenses such as rent, food, and utility bills etc. The left over money will tell you if you’re capable of keeping the car running after the purchase. It’s important to remember that a vehicle can range between $5,000 to $9,000 per year to keep it on the road. Between insurance, registration, fuel, and maintenance costs, it can get costly.
Who Is Eligible For A Donated Car?
If you have a very low income your chances of being given a free car increases. The people who meet the qualifications generally include:
- Military families experiencing hardship
- Medically needy and the elderly
- Families who are transitioning from public assistance to work
- The working poor
- Victims of domestic abuse
- Families living in transitional shelters
- Victims of natural disasters
Where Can You Apply For A Free Car?
Applications for a free car are generally found with charities and non-profit organizations. There are many organizations which offer a variety of assistance solutions. Some organizations will be able to offer a low interest auto loan where the client can buy the vehicle as their own while others will give access to free financial counselling, a credit counsellor, or other financial services.
There’s also many groups which run different charity programs where those who qualify will receive a used vehicle, generally for free, that needs to be used for the purpose of employment. Different organizations and charities that offer free cars or other services are as followed.
- 1800 CHARITY CARS Donation Auto – This non-profit organisation accepts donated vehicles and gives them to the less fortunate and those in need.
- Online Car Donations Auto Charity – This charity organisation accepts donated vehicles in exchange for tax deductions to support battered women and those who are challenged physically, those who are homeless and those who are self-supporting.
- Vehicles For Change – Vehicles For Change accepts donated vehicles to help the donors get the best possible tax deduction. The donated cars go to those who are on the road to being self-sufficient but are struggling with transport.
- WithCauses.Org – This organization helps low income families by allowing them to apply through their online application form. You simply write down your hardships and your needs, and they do the rest.
- Modest Needs – Modest Needs is a great site that helps individuals and families in need. The idea of the site allows people to post their hardship before asking for a modest amount of funds in return. Many use the site for car repairs to get their vehicle up and running again.
- Donate A Car Today – Donate A Car Today is a great site to apply to when looking to receive a donated vehicle. They are listed in many states and if qualified you may receive a free donated vehicle.
- FreeGasUSA.Org – This charity is a religious organization which offers fuel grants to families and individuals who are poverty stricken. If you’re struggling to pay for your gas because of poverty this is a great site to visit.
- Free Charity Cars – This non-profit organization can provide free cars to low income families. It’s suitable for those who are out of work, on minimal income support or who are collecting benefits.
The above are just some of the more popular national programs that may provide a free car. To learn about other programs in your location, try contacting your local Community Action Agency as they may have partnerships and can provide guidance.
Car Loan Options For Low Income Earners
Being a low income earner can be a struggle in itself, but especially when you want to purchase a vehicle. Not only does your qualifications decrease but you find it difficult to make a sizable deposit. When it comes to getting a low cost loan it’s important to know your finances inside and out to establish whether you can actually afford a vehicle if you’re given the chance to own one. The following are some tips on how to establish whether you can afford a low income car loan and how you can increase your chances of getting one:
Improving Your Eligibility For A Low Income Car Loan
To improve your eligibility for a car loan, try to consider the following:
- Create a credit profile by paying bills on time.
- Show that you have the ability to put money aside by saving money in a separate bank account.
- Build a good credit score by making small purchases on your credit card that you can pay back with your next pay check without running in the red.
Car Loan Options Based On Value
The interest is what can make or break a person when paying off a loan. Many charity and non-profit organizations can provide low income earners with low interest loans. By trying these before your lending facility you have a better chance of scoring a low interest car loan that’s easy to repay. Some major lenders tend to categorize low income earners as a risk and therefore will bump the interest price up.
Low Loan Interest Charities/Organizations
- Ways To Work – With 44 loan offices throughout the USA they can provide loans to qualified people of up to $8,000 with an 8% interest rate.
- Working Cars For Families – This organization generally offers donated cars to families in need and can provide low interest loans with special terms based upon the circumstances of each individual person.
- Job Links Employment Transportation – This organization provides a list of different car loan options for low income earners.
- Cars For Careers - Cars For Careers is a partnership program with Howard County social service organization who provides cars to poor working families and low income families. Low interest loans can also be arranged to help provide financial ease on low income earners.
- Cars For Success - Cars For Success is designed to help low income women transition back to work after being on public welfare. There are many charities that refer women to Cars For Success.
- New Leaf Services - New Leaf Services provides transport services for eligible individuals. In order to be eligible you need to be enrolled in the TANF or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program. This agency can help to fix cars, provide much needed maintenance and sell vehicles at low rates.
Other Car Loan Options For Low Income Earners
If the above didn’t work, the following are some other car loan options that low income earners can consider:
- Car Loan Brokers – Check around to see whether there’s a car loan broker in your area so they can review your situation. They may be able to help you with a few different options.
- Banks - Banks aren’t always the most considerate when it comes to car loans, however it doesn’t hurt to ask. You can find out if they want to help you by seeing a branch member or making a few phone calls to the different ones in your area.
- Co-Signer – Having someone co-sign for your vehicle loan is another way to help get a vehicle. It’s important however to understand that if you have someone co-sign you need to make sure you can financial cover the payments otherwise the responsibility falls back onto the co-signer to pay the bill.
Last Resort Options
In some cases, when all else fails you may need to pull out your last resort options. Some last resort options include:
- Car Lot Financing – There are some car lots which may offer financing for those who are low income earners or who have bad credit. These types really push the loan limits to get you the loan. However, it’s important to understand that most times they will put you in a loan you can’t afford and they tend to be more expensive. Make sure you read everything and are aware of all the costs involved.
- Pay Day Type Car Loans - Some payday lenders now have vehicle financing in the services they provide. Although, make sure you fully understand the fine print, the loan provider and the costs involved as many people do get caught with pay day loans.
How To Protect Yourself When Purchasing A Vehicle
When purchasing a vehicle, even a discounted one, it’s important to know what you’re signing first before placing your signature on the document. The following are some easy tips to remember before purchasing a vehicle off someone you don’t know.
- Check the business online for complains and reviews
- Check the business’s license, address, and their contact details against your state’s governing body of business. This should be a free online service.
- Don’t take the deal that’s offered before checking with at least three other providers on the same vehicle make and model.
- If possible, ask whether you can take it to a mechanic to make sure it’s operating soundly before purchasing.
In taking these precautionary steps you can easily purchase a vehicle without any problems.
These are just some of the major organizations which may offer a variety of opportunities to get a free car or low cost car. It’s best to check with your local state’s organizations to see whether there are any more organizations which can help with your vehicle needs.
When it comes to receiving a free car, it can be a life changing gift. If you’re a low income earner and you’re struggling without a vehicle, it’s best to contact one of the above agencies to see whether they can help you with your situation. You never know what opportunities may be around the corner for you if you don’t try.