Vehicle Donations

Donating a vehicle to PVAS is easy. If you don't want to go through the hassle of selling your old vehicle yourself and/or if a tax deduction would be easier or more valuable to you than a trade-in or cash payment, it's a step worth considering.

Your vehicle doesn't have to be in running condition; all vehicles have at least some residual value from parts or scrap. All you have to do is complete this form and email to Kristin Alexander at, or mail to PVAS, PO Box 578, Shepherdstown, WV 25443. In addition to your contact information, the form will require information on the title and any outstanding liens on the vehicle, as well as its make, model, year, condition, mileage, location and VIN number (the VIN is mounted on the top of the dashboard on the driver's side and can be easily viewed through the windshield). Please contact Kristin at 304-676-3397 with questions.

We'll handle everything from there, including making arrangements to have the vehicle picked up. There is no cost to you for pickup, even if that involves towing.

Tax benefits to you

PVAS typically sells donated vehicles through the Winchester Auto Auction in Frederick County, VA, which holds auctions every Tuesday. PVAS receives the net proceeds from the auction sale of your vehicle, after the auction house's fees and towing or transportation costs are deducted. You get to deduct the full auction sale price.

After your vehicle is sold, PVAS will provide you with a letter that documents the sale for tax purposes. If the auction sale price is more than $500, you'll need to attach a copy of that letter to your next year's tax return along with a copy of Internal Revenue Service Form 8283 ("Noncash Charitable Contributions"). For a copy of Form 8283 and its accompanying instructions go to the IRS website and enter "Form 8283" in the search box.

If the auction sale price is less than $500 you do not need to document your deduction on your next tax return but you should keep a copy of our letter in case your deduction is challenged.

The IRS offers a handy, complete guide to all facets of vehicle donations. To access this publication, click here or go to the IRS website and type "Publication 4303" in the search box.

Please remember the following:

  • As with any charitable donation, you can only deduct donations of vehicles to charities if you itemize deductions on Schedule A of your Form 1040.
  • For tax purposes, vehicles are defined as any motor vehicle manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways; boats; or airplanes.

Helpful Hints if You Donate Your Vehicle

  • Be sure to remove your license plate(s), registration and insurance certificate from the car. 
  • You must have a valid title to donate your car. Sign the title on the back, in the "Signature of Seller(s)" line in section #1 at the top, but leave the "Name of Purchaser" line blank. DO NOT identify PVAS or Winchester Auto Auction as the purchaser. Winchester Auto Auction will fill in the name of the purchaser when the car is sold at auction. 
  • Call your insurer and tell them that you are donating the car in this way; be sure to retain insurance on the car until Winchester Auto Auction has picked up the car and given you a receipt. That receipt will release you from all liability on the vehicle.
  • If you have a service record for the car, put it in the front seat or glove compartment; this can help boost the car's auction value. Also include any owners or service manuals you may have.

Questions? If you have any questions about donating a vehicle, please contact Kristin Alexander.

          © 2014 Potomac Valley Audubon Society

              P.O. Box 578 • Shepherdstown, West Virginia 25443
              phone // 304-676-3397

Kristin Alexander, Executive Director
phone // 304-676-3397

Ellen Murphy, Program Specialist
phone // 304-676-8739

Krista Hawley, Adult Program Coordinator
phone // 703-303-1026

Bridget Tinsley, Land and Watershed Program Manager // 304-261-6016
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