Are you wondering how to get a free car?
Well, you’re not alone.
While only a few decades ago, owning a car was considered a luxury, nowadays, it’s pretty much a necessity.
Especially if you need to commute to work, as most of us do, and struggle to find adequate public transport.
Whether it’s taking the kids to school, traveling to work, or going to the grocery store, it’s likely that you’ll need a car just to go about your day to day life.
But, what if you can’t afford one?
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Unfortunately, this is a situation that many people, particularly families on a low income, find themselves in.
If you require a car but are struggling to afford one, then you might be wondering if there’s any legitimize way that you can get one for free.
Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can get a vehicle at no cost.
And getting your own car can open up so many opportunities.
According to Vehicles for Change, one of the organizations that we mention below, 75% of the families who received a free car got better jobs and/or increased their earnings.
So owning a car can really be life-changing, not to mention you can actually make money with your car.
What will I learn?
Can you really get a car for free?
Yes, just like there are places where you can get a free car seat, there are many organizations that provide free vehicles to those in need.
Generally, you will need to meet certain eligibility criteria, such as earn below a certain amount to qualify, for a free vehicle.
Below, we list these organizations and tell you how you can contact them to get a free car.
Before we get started on the list though…
Who is eligible for a free car?
Each place below has its own eligibility criteria.
This means that the requirements you have to meet to get a vehicle for free vary from place to place.
But, here are a few examples of the types of candidates who are eligible to receive a free car:
- Low-income families.
- The working poor.
- Families who are making the transition from public assistance to work.
- Victims of domestic violence
- Those with medical needs and disabilities
- Families living in transitional shelters
- Victims of natural disasters
- Active Military
Be sure to check the requirements of each place to find out if you’re eligible. This will allow you to find the program/organization that’s the best fit for you.
Most of the places below have a similar process that you’ll need to go through to get a free vehicle.
You generally need to fill out a form online to request it or to apply for money to pay for one.
Then you’ll need to wait for approval.
Like the requirements, the information you need to provide will vary from place to place.
So some places may ask you for additional documentation, such as proof of income papers or proof of government assistance documents, on top of the details you offer on the form.
Many places also ask you to write a little about your situation or why you require a free car.
Again, just check what information and documents you’ll need to provide at each individual place.
Once you’ve completed an application, you’ll need to wait to hear if you’re able to receive a donated car.
Some places receive a lot of requests, so you may be put on a waiting list.
Now you know how the process works, let’s take a look at the places where you can get a free car.
Cars4Christmas is a wonderful organization that provides free cars not just at Christmas, but all year round. You just need to fill out a form and wait for approval!.
- Where to apply: http://www.cars4christmas.org/apply-for-a-vehicle.html
Cars4Heroes is a partner of Cars4Christmas. As its name suggests, Cars4Heroes is an organization that provides free cars to first responders, veterans and active military or their family. So if you are currently serving in the military or are a veteran, you or your family can request a free vehicle from Cars4Heroes.
- Where to apply (military): http://www.cars4heroes.org/military-application-for-a-vehicle.html
- Where to apply (first responders): http://www.cars4heroes.org/apply.html
3. Good News Garage – Car Donation Charity serving NE
Good News Garage is a car donation charity that donates cars, trucks and vans to eligible recipients. It’s based in New England, so if you live in that area you may be able to get a donated car.
Programs are available in Vermont and Massachusetts.
and New Hampshire. Update January 2022, Good News Garage still provides assistance in Vermont & Mass, but no longer in New Hampshire.
It’s important to note that each state has its own guidelines for who qualifies to get a vehicle.
So make sure that you read the information for your specific state before you contact your regional GNC office. You can find the contact information for your particular office on the page we linked to below.
When you do contact your local office, you’ll need to leave a message and include the area code of your phone number.
- Where to apply: https://www.goodnewsgarage.org/Contact-Us
4. 800-Charity Cars
800-Charity Cars, also known as 1-800-Charity Cars, is a well-known company that pairs donated cars with families. It’s been around since 1996 and helps disadvantaged families to get transportation.
It helps a wide range of candidates, such as veterans, victims of domestic abuse, families living in transitional living shelters and victims of natural disasters.
The 800-Charity Cars website is more for those who are donating vehicles, although it does have a list of who can apply for a Charity Car, but it links to a separate website called FreeCharityCars.org.
So, we’ve linked to both pages below.
- Learn about who’s eligible: https://www.800charitycars.org/who-can-apply.html
- Where to apply: https://freecharitycars.org/
5. Online Car Donation
Online Car Donation is an organization that helps families in need. It reviews each vehicle donation request on a case by case basis.
It helps a wide variety of people, such as families living in homeless shelters, those with disabilities, victims of domestic abuse and military families.
You can fill out a form to request a donated car.
- Where to apply: http://www.onlinecardonation.org/charity-help.htm
If you’re really in need of a vehicle, then consider contacting your local church. While the church itself may not be able to give you a car directly, it will be able to point you to some great local resources.
Churches can connect you to charities and individuals who may offer donated vehicles.
Also, some churches hold fundraisers for those in need, so they will likely be able to help you out in some way.
All you have to do is ask.
Just explain your situation and why you need a vehicle and they may be able to help.
Goodwill helps out those in need in a multitude of ways.
If you approach your local Goodwill and tell them about your situation, then they may be able to help you. Some people donate cards to Goodwill, so you may be able to get one of these donated vehicles. Otherwise, Goodwill may know of local dealerships or other places that offer free vehicles to those in need.
- Find a Goodwill near you here.
OnlineCarDonation.com is another car donation company that helps out those who need a vehicle. It offers families and individuals free cars, trucks and vans. Just submit your request online.
The website does state that if you’re on any sort of government assistance, then gifts of property could affect your assistance.
- Where to apply: http://www.onlinecardonation.com/vehiclerequest.html
9. Vehicles for Change
At Vehicles for Change, you can get a donated car.
However, it’s not necessarily going to be entirely free.
In most cases, what Vehicles for Change does is providing low-cost cars.
It says “We receive car donations from the public, make them “road ready,” and then award them at affordable prices to eligible families in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Michigan.”
So, you won’t necessarily get a car for free, but you can get one a super low price.
- Where to apply: https://www.vehiclesforchange.org/need-a-car/overview/
10. With Causes
With Causes offers support in a number of ways to a wide range of people, such as veterans, victims of domestic abuse, and homeless families.
With Causes has an “Ask for Help” form on its website that you can use to explain your situation.
If you desperately need a car, then you may be able to find help from With Causes.
It’s important to note that With Causes states that if you currently receive assistance, such as TANF, SSI, SSDI, Welfare, or Food Stamps, then accepting tangible property, gifts, or financial assistance or services may affect or terminate your current benefits.
- Where to apply: https://www.withcauses.org/askforhelp.htm
11. Modest Needs
Modest Needs provides assistance to individuals and families in the United States and Canada.
Modest Needs doesn’t offer free cars per se, but it provides grants to those who’re eligible.
If you get a grant from Modest Needs, then you could use the money to purchase a vehicle.
- Where to apply: https://www.modestneeds.org/for-applicants/
12. United Way Worldwide
Non-profit organization United Way Worldwide works with more than 1,800 communities in 40 plus countries and territories around the world.
One of its most well-known programs is 2-1-1.
2-1-1 is a confidential and free service that’s designed to help people throughout the United States to find resources nearby. If you’re struggling to afford a vehicle, then it’s worth contacting them.
They can connect you to a service professional who can help you.
- Where to apply: https://www.unitedway.org/our-impact/featured-programs/2-1-1
13. And finally, give crowdfunding a try
You could consider setting up a donation page on a Crowdfunding platform.
On crowdfunding platforms, you can set up a page that people can donate to.
Crowdfunding allows you to raise small amounts of money from a large number of people.
So even if donations are only small, if you get a lot of them, then it really adds up.
A few crowdfunding platforms to try are:
Getting a donated car from a Dealership
If you need a car and don’t have the money top pay for it, this is worth a try. Usually car dealerships don’t donate cars, but from time to time, you do hear stories of local dealerships donating an older model to a family in need.
If you are facing financial difficulties, write a letter to the general manager or your local dealership and explain your situation. You just may get lucky.
You won’t know if you don’t ask!
A quick note on getting a free car from the government
While the government has many grants and programs available to those struggling financially, such as low income families, it doesn’t really have any programs that are dedicated to offering free cars.
It’s true that the government does offer grants, which is basically like a loan, except you don’t have to pay it back. But, most of the funding opportunities are available to organizations, rather than individuals.
So looking for a free car from the government isn’t a great option for those in need of a vehicle.
Instead, try one of the options in our list above.
If you’re on a low income, you may be able to get benefits from the government that cover basic expenses like food, housing and healthcare. This can help you to free up more money to save for a car.
- You can learn about government benefits here.
Getting a free car from wrapping companies
Some people wonder whether they can get a free car from car wrapping companies.
Well, there aren’t actually many out there anymore that offer totally free cars.
Instead, what most of these companies do is pay you to wrap your car in adverts. You can earn around $400 to $600 just for displaying ads.
So that’s something to consider if you do get a car.
One company to consider is Wrapify. We have a review about it, which you can read here.
Donate your old car
This won’t get you a free vehicle, but it can help other less fortunate people. If you have an old car that’s sitting in the garage or driveway rusting away, please consider donating it to a charity or organization that helps needy families get a vehicle for free or very cheap.
This is especially true if you have a car that doesn’t have much value. Sure, you may be able to get a few hundred dollars for it, but an extra few hundred may not do much for you, but for a family in need, that car can be the difference between the parent being able or not being able to get to work so he/she can provide for his/her family.
So please consider donating your old car.
Here are a few places you can donate your car:
- Wheels for Wishes
- Vehicles for Change
- Habitat for Humanity
- Disabled American Veterans
- Salvation Army
Free car from Uber or Lyft
There is this myth out there that ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft give out free cars to drivers.
That’s not true at all!
However, if you want to drive for the company, they let you rent a car from them so you can drive and make money, which is not a bad deal if you don’t have a car and want to make some money. Uber drivers make good money. So do people who drive for Lyft.
Needless to say, they each have their own rules and requirements.
You can find out more about their car rental programs by following the links below:
There are many ways that you can get a car for free, so do check out the places that we listed above.
Having your own car can give you so much independence, and it can even improve your financial situation.
According to reports, a lack of transportation is a huge obstacle to employment for America’s poor.
A report from The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia says:
“For residents without access to a car in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, transportation can be a formidable barrier to employment, hampering both an applicant’s ability to apply for a job and an employed resident’s ability to retain one.”
So it does have an effect. If you have a car, you open up more opportunities and life can become a lot more convenient.
It’s important to note that if you do apply for a free car, make sure that you have enough money to cover the cost of owning a car such as license plates, insurance, gas, etc. Worried about expensive car insurance rates? Read this to learn how to save big on car insurance.
Give one of our options a try and see if you could get a free car.