Grants for Cars Distribute Reliable Transportation with Car Donations

| July 29, 2013 | 19 Comments

Grants For CarsDo you need a car to meet your family’s basic needs and are unable to provide for one yourself? Not owning reliable transportation can be a serious issue for struggling American families. And while some urban areas have great public transportation systems, in most of the United States it is not really a feasible option for raising a family. If you are already having a tough time, being unable to reliably get to work, take the kids to school and accomplish basic errands can only make your family’s situation worse. There is some help available but in this case it does not come from the federal government.

There is currently no federal government program that issues grants to purchase cars. Very briefly for a few months in 2009, congress providing funding for the Car Allowance Rebate System also called Cash For Clunkers in the press. But this was a temporary stimulus initiative that offered incentives to trade in less fuel efficient cars for more fuel efficient cars. This program is no longer operating but it never actually provided cars to families in need. But when government assistance isn’t available and a very real problem exists, usually the private sector steps in. This is the case with charitable groups that provide cars to low-income families.

If you need help obtaining a car there are several nationwide charities that accept donated cars, repair them and offer them to families at no cost. There are also local groups in some areas that provide the same type of assistance, giving even better access to this type of program to residents in some states. None of these programs will offer you a new car, but if you are selected to receive help from one of them you can expect to get a 10-12 year old vehicle with around 100,000 miles. Donated cars are looked over by a mechanic, repaired to be road-ready and are then distributed to provide suitable transportation for families through these programs.

Free Charity Cars
This is the original car donation charity program in the United States, also known as 1-800-Charity Cars. This non-profit was created with the main goal of helping struggling families transition from dependency to self-sufficiency. Since 1996, it has awarded over 4,500 cars though the nationwide program. Free Charity Cars helps the following types of applicants with grants for used cars:

  • Families moving from public assistance to work
  • Families living in homeless shelters
  • Military families
  • Victims of domestic abuse
  • Victims of natural disasters
  • Disabled or medically challenged
  • Working poor
  • Non-profit organizations

To apply for help, you must create a profile on the Free Charity Cars website. You are then expected to promote for the donation program as much as possible in your area and through your online social networking. Profiles that receive the most votes will be ranked by the amount of overall support and will receive a car donation when one becomes available in that applicant’s area.

With Causes Charitable Network
With Causes is a nationwide giving network, allowing for the donation of cars, computers or almost anything of value to support the areas where the organization focuses its efforts. While not its only program, With Causes does provide used car donations to applicants when they are available. To apply for any of the help available through the charity, fill out a help request on the With Causes website and provide your specific needs in your request.

Working Cars for Working Families
While not a car donation charity, Working Cars for Working Families is a service of the National Consumer Law Center which seeks to improve consumer protection and end abuse in the used car business. It maintains a list of car donation services for those looking to donate or receive a car through local programs. To find out if there is a local program in your area, use the program search available on the NCLC website.

Local Car Programs
There is a bit more help available locally in some areas for those looking for help acquiring a donated car. These programs do not always provide free cars, sometimes merely making it possible to buy a car under market or at a highly reduced price. These are only a few examples of local car programs. If you do not live in one of these areas and are unable to find a program near you using the Working Cars for Working Families search, we suggest you continue your search by contacting non-profit organizations in your area that work with low-income families.

Caring Cars – Huntsville, Alabama
Offered by the Family Services Center, this program provides cars needed for transportation to and from work by low-income families in the Huntsville and Madison County area. Cars are donated locally and provided to local families through the program. Cars are not offered for free, with a small down payment and monthly payment schedule required by applicants to cover program costs.

Good News Garage – Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont
This program is offered by Lutheran Social Services in the New England area. Since 1996, it has helped to distribute 4,000 refurbished cars to needy families. Eligibility does vary from state to state but in all cases cars are offered to participants through various state programs.

Vehicles for Change – Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC
This is a Washington, DC area car donation program offering cars for reduced prices to those having trouble with transportation to work. You must be employed at least 30 hours a week, have a drivers licence and be able to provide insurance and normal car ownership expenses to apply. If selected for the top tier of the program, you will be provided a car for a one time cost of $750. For applicants with more modest income, cars can be provided for under market prices.

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Category: Other Grant Information, Personal Grants

About the Author ()

Kipp is the Contributing Editor for, covering sources of potential funding in the world of grants. His mission is to assist people like you by locating and sharing private, non-profit and government grants. Got a question or a tip on a neat grant? Connect with him now at Facebook Twitter

Comments (19)

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  1. Ivan owie says:

    I got this site from my pal who told me I may find a car grant. My name is Ivan im 35yrs old. I dream of having a car but it is imposible for me to get one bcoz of low income. Maybe if I have my car I can easily look for a work or business. Hope so but sometime I feel like the only person without a car.

    • Carl Evangelista says:

      Hello Ivan,
      Let me start by telling you that you are far from being alone. Our mailbox is full of emails with your exact transportation obstacle. Keep your dream alive, Ivan. And good luck!

  2. Tina Nguyen says:

    Hello Web Admin, I would like to ask you about Working Cars For Working Families website. Does that company help family or just non profit companies. I am not clear can you explain in more detail.

    • Carl Evangelista says:

      Hello Tina,
      Working Cars For Working Families help promote non-profits that provide struggling families with cars, financing or both at subsidized rates. Although we are still seeing many people struggling in the world of transportation, companies like this are doing a lot to support individuals and families.

  3. TAMIKA L. WAUGH says:

    I am a divorce mother of three boys with no child support I am homeless and under the poverty line. I would like to rise above the limitations and struggles before me and start helping people. someone who would be thankful and do for another thank you for having a program may you be blessed with peace and love for being a help to others in a time of need… Faith and Grace

  4. Chad says:

    I stumbled upon this it has helped me out loads. Great job.

  5. Rebecca A. Lofton says:

    I am desperate! I just lost my home and I don’t even have a car that I can live in. I am so scared! I am disabled due to a back injury but I can still walk, slowly but, I can walk. I had plans to go back to school before I lost my home and eventually I will, somehow. I don’t know what God’s plan is for me but I have to believe in Him because He is all I have left. As I believe in Him, I need someone to believe in me. I at least need t be able to get to my doctors that I see daily. A neighbor used to take me . Please, please believe in me

  6. Mom of 6 says:

    I’m a single mother of six. Ages 7 weeks, 1, 3, 6, 7 and 11 two of which are on SSI. I’m struggling day by day but I am determined to make my children’s lives as comfortable as possible. Although I am very stressed just getting groceries and seeing my children smile mean the world. Please help

  7. Cynthia says:

    I am disabled or medically challenged I have to see my doctors every month and get my therapy animal her food litter etc. I need more money and I would like to know what is happening to my very old 1990 Subaru so much stuff was stolen out of my car. Help! Thank you so much

  8. Michael says:

    I just got laid off and am suffering for an on the job injury. I am in desperate need of a car! Are there any resources in the Seattle area?

  9. Debbie says:

    I am a low income disabled lady. I have arthritis in my back, but I have to walk everywhere because my income is so low that I cant afford to buy a car. I walk with a cart to go shopping and because of all the walking I do, I now have to have surgery on both knees. I have torn my meniscus in both knees. I was just diagnosed with arthritis in both my ankles. I am home bound but thank god I get medicaid transportation for my Drs or I wouldn’t be able to even go there. I desperately need a vehicle.

  10. Maritsa says:

    Hi my parents are both disabled. One has peripheral artery disease the other RA. They have an old Volvo that didn’t have a gas tank cover and someone poured water in it. I paid $500 to have that replaced now it has a transmission problem…it adds on and I can’y afford to get that fixed. They need a car to get to the doctor’s. I would appreciate a direction. Thanks

  11. Stephenie Hyatt-Esposito says:

    My family lives in Tennessee, and I do not know where this type of program is. We live in a small town so looking for work is next to impossible. I have a 14 year old girl, and a 17 year old boy(with autism), and transportation is essential for his care. I hope you can help me find a program that will help. We need a car badly.

    • Alasters Muleya says:

      I really need a car to help with my transportation problem that me and my family is facing. We live in a rural area of Zambia. This has been a problem since I was a kid there is also a problem for the locals in my town many of the kids have to walk long distances to get to and from school.

  12. Dale Rice says:

    I make 7,000 a year I live below poverty level if I try to go back to work they take my health insurance. I need a car and I am in WV all by my self I have no family or friends. I was considering working on the streets just to save for a car and eat. I need help so bad. I don’t like taking charity but I have no choice but to ask for help. I know I am probably wasting my time posting this but what do I have to loose. I will pay you back with interest. The reason I moved out here is to escape my ex he was beating me daily for the past 65 years hope he doesn’t find me because he will kill me. I have one child 33 years old he was from a rape and he knows it. Bottom line I am 53 I desperately need a car to find some work so I can eat and pay my bill. Please help I will pay you back HELP Dale Rice. I know you probably won’t contact me but I pray to the good lord you do 304-369-3914

  13. Roger Russie says:

    I am a vet barely making it on social security disability and I survived 5 heart attacks. Now I had a big major stroke where I cant used my left arm and legs that is why I cant go to my doctors and hospital visits. Grocery shopping is a challenge I live a mile and a half from the bus stop… I am at the end of my rope where I want to die!

  14. Andrea says:

    Hello , my is name Andrea and I am a mother of six wonderful and amazing somethin I am expecting another baby early next year. I don’t have transportation anymore because I have too many children for a car which I have had and I had to make some of my children sit on the floor because I didn’t have enough room on the seats for them all. So I am asking anyone to help me and my family get a new van or a truck, something with enough space for athletic equipment to fit into. I thank you all.

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