Donate junk cars to help a charity

Did you know that you can dispose of your vehicle for free and help a charity of your choice?

A company called Charity Car makes this possible. By calling their 1-800 number or filling out an online form, you can arrange to have that old clunker sitting in the backyard towed for free. Charity Car will write a cheque equal to the value of your end-of-life vehicle and send it to your chosen charity.


“It was a surprise,” said Stephanie Klaus, B.C. SPCA’s manager of corporate relations, when they were told that a Kamloops lady had donated a 1984 Toyota Camry to support the organization. SPCA’s recent partnership with Charity Car makes them one of Charity Car’s 70 Canadian partners.

How it works
When you contact Charity Car, you’ll be connected with a local affiliate who’ll arrange a time of pick up for your vehicle. Your car will be towed to an authorized treatment facility that ensures your vehicle is disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

Company vice president Paul Coon explains the process. “The things that’ll sell off of the car will get dismantled and inventoried into the warehouse. The rest of the car will be decontaminated, crushed and be processed for scrap steel.”

“We only deal with licensed auto recyclers. We want the vehicles to go to licensed auto dismantlers who have all the proper tools to process the vehicles,” he said.

Vehicles destined for the junkyard may contain fluids or chemicals that can seep into the ground or water reservoir and pollute the environment if not disposed properly.

Fluids such as antifreeze, gas and oil and other hazardous materials such as batteries and mercury switches are removed from the vehicle and either reused or discarded properly.

The operation was founded by David Gold, co-owner of Standard Auto Wreckers in Ontario. Gold comes from a family of auto wrecking business veterans and is the first Canadian recipient of the Most Influential Auto Recycler of 2009 award for setting a positive example in the auto wrecking industry.

Championing charities and the environment
The charity receives 100 per cent of the car’s value, usually between $80 and $100 per car. After the donation is received, the charity writes up a tax receipt for charitable giving and sends it back to the individual donor.

“I think it’s amazing. It gives people the option to support, in a significant way, a non-profit organization by donating things that they wouldn’t necessarily think to donate,” said Klaus. “A lot of people have used cars out there. It just gives them the opportunity for recycling first of all and then supporting a charity. It’s a very cool and innovative donation program.”

In Toronto where it’s based, Charity Car has helped support charities big and small.

“We rely solely on donations from corporations and individuals to ensure we have the funds to grant wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses,” said Linda Marco, director of the Children’s Wish Foundation. “The support from Charity Car helps us fulfill our mandate.”

Ashleigh Saith of Interval House, an organization that supports victims of abuse, said it takes little work on their part and raises awareness of their organization’s work in the community.

“Not only did they help us raise over $2,500 last year, their program presents a creative way for individuals to support Interval House,” said Saith.

“Auto recyclers pick up and buy cars every single day. That’s what we do for a living. All that we’re really doing is transferring the funds,” explained Coon. “I’m gonna either pay you $100 to $200 for your wrecked car, or I can send that to a charity.” It’s a win-win-win situation with the charity getting the most benefit, he added.

The next time you need to dispose a vehicle, consider donating it to charity instead. Visit or phone 1-877-363-6354.

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