Automobile Donation

Donate your vehicle to LAUMC and save the hassle of selling, handling the DMV paperwork, and getting a smog certificate. Proceeds after cost of sale will be administered by the Gifts & Memorials Committee and will be used for projects not funded by the LAUMC operating budget, such as: Seminary Scholarship Fund, Church Camp counselor scholarships, seminars, conferences, and courses for LAUMC staff members, and the Pastors’ Discretionary Fund.


All vehicle donations are handled through an organization called Charitable Auto Resources (CARS). CARS is a car donation management company that helps more than 200 nonprofits in the U.S. sell donated cars.

One call to CARS does it all!

Tell the CARS representative that you have a vehicle to donate to the United Methodist Church of Los Altos (the legal corporate name of Los Altos UMC).

CARS will schedule a pickup time that is convenient for you, handle all the paperwork, and provide you with confirmation of your donation to LAUMC and all the necessary paperwork for a tax deduction.* This donation will not appear on your periodic Los Altos UMC Statement of Giving.

For additional information, see Frequently Asked Questions below or contact Keith Wycoff, member of the Los Altos UMC Gifts & Memorials Committee.

*IRA regulations state that if your vehicle sells for more than $500, you will need an IRS form 1098-C in order to deduct the donation on your tax return. CARS will provide the 1098-C if you provide them your social security number. If you vehicle sells for less than $500, a 1098-C is not required by the IRS. Be sure to consult with your tax advisor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money from the car sale will the church receive?
Example: If you car sells for $1,100, after the towing charge, sales expenses, and commission to CARS, Los Altos UMC will receive $880.

Does my car have to be running?
Your car does not have to be running but it must have an engine and be tow-able. It does not need to have a current registration. Call CARS at 877-537-5277 if you have any questions.

How long will it take for someone to pick up my car?
A tow company will contact you within 2-3 business days to arrange a convenient pickup time.

What will happen to my car?
Most cars are sold at auction; some may be sold for scrap; and some high-end or classic vehicles will be specially handled at private sales. Note: If you want top dollar for your car, it is best to sell it yourself and then donate the proceeds to Los Altos UMC.

What paperwork will I need?
The only paperwork needed is a signed, clear title (no liens), and you must have the keys. Have your title with you when you call in your donation.

What if I receive legal notices?
In the rare event that you receive notification of a lien sale, DMV action, or other activity related to your donated vehicle, please contact CARS at 877-537-5277 immediately for assistance.

Why does Los Altos UMC use CARS?
CARS is a highly recommended donation management company and is used by such organizations as Catholic Charities, Jewish Family Services, and KQED and other public broadcasting companies.