Car Donation Scams | Donating Your Car Online

“I’m just calling to get more information about your program — are you a scam?” The short answer to that is, “No,” and we’re glad you asked! Car donation scams, like all sorts of other online peculiarities, are out there.

A bit about us

Donate a Car Canada is an Alberta-based business that’s been in operation for almost a decade. We currently work on behalf of close to 800 charities across the country. Our role is to help you turn your donation-ready vehicle into a monetary gift for your charity.

We do this by assigning the car to our cooperating agents. We work with both recyclers and auction house/re-sale agents. The vehicle is sold as scrap metal/parts, or it is sold as-is to the highest bidder.

The value of your vehicle is subject to the market condition — and not just the market in Canada. Your car’s dollar worth is directly related to global markets. Right now the value of metal is at a unique low (and holding). That is impacting everything from how much you can sell the car for off the driveway, all the way to what you can get for it at the local scrap metal yard.

How do I know if another program is a scam?

A good thing to look out for in vetting a program’s legitimacy is the dollar value they’re offering: does it reflect the market? Are they offering hundreds of dollars for a vehicle that is really only worth a small return?

If you see a tow service add posted on a sign post, or one that leaps to the top of an internet search, that promises $400.00 for “any vehicle,” you may want to dig a little deeper. It may be a car donation scam.

Your 1995 compact car, dollars and cents, is only valued at between $20.00 and $150.00 in the current market. That is, the weight of the metal adds up to only that amount. The parts  add some value, for some kinds of vehicles. By the time the scrap yard working with you drains the fluids, takes care of the tires, strips the saleable parts, and crushes the car, they may be out of pocket.

What do I do first?

A quick phone call to the agency promising big dollars for scrap cars is always a prudent approach! If they’re legitimate they will be able to provide clear answers about how they arrive at the numbers they are offering. They may fix and re-sale their vehicles, allowing them to offer more at the outset. They may have the ability to store large quantities of vehicles. This gives them the opportunity to stockpile until the market turns.

Your phone calls and email queries are welcome here! Our experienced staff are in daily contact with agents from coast to coast. These folks know the industry well and can typically spot a car donation scam a mile away.
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About the Author

Sandra McDonald

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