Clifton Lions Club Vehicle Donation Program Frequently Asked Questions


Do you accept only cars for donation?

We accept many types of motor vehicles and trailers including boats, RV’s, motorcycles, trucks, and cars. If you would like to know if your vehicle is eligible, please contact us at (703) 803-8500.

Does my vehicle have to be running to donate it?

Sometimes we can take your donated vehicle, running or not.  It must have an engine and transmission and be tow-able. Contact a program coordinator at (703) 803-8500 to find out if your donation qualifies.

My vehicle has 212,000 miles on it, will you take it?

We automatically accept vehicles with 120,000 miles or less, provided the vehicle meets our other criteria.  Any mileage over 120,000 will require that you contact a program coordinator at (703) 803-8500 to find out if your donation qualifies

Where and when can I drop off my vehicle for donation?

Our Donation Processing Center is at: Master Mechanic, 14303A Sullyfield Circle, Chantilly, VA  20151.  Vehicles can be dropped off 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, with preapproval.  Please contact a program coordinator prior to dropping your car off at, (703) 803-8500, to find out how to drop off your vehicle and what is needed before you drop it off.  We GREATLY APPRECIATE it when donors can help us out and drop off donations.  It keeps our expenses lower, which means more money goes to helping those in need.

How quickly can you come and pick up my vehicle?

We try to make donating your vehicle convenient as possible. While we love it when a donor can drop off their donation at our Chantilly, VA Processing Center, we understand that sometimes that is not possible.  We normally can have your vehicle removed within two to three business days. Call our volunteers at (703) 803-8500 for full details.

Do I have to be with the donation at the time you pick it up?

Normally not.  Special arrangements can be made by calling our volunteers at (703) 803-8500.

What paperwork do I need to give you?

The only paperwork we need is a signed, clear title. Please have your title with you when you call-in your donation or email us.  A clear title means the title is in the name of the donor and that all liens on the vehicle have been satisfied.

Do I need an emissions inspection or safety inspection in order to donate my vehicle?

We do not require either of these items for you to donate your vehicle, though we will ask you about these items when we qualify your vehicle for donation.

What are the benefits of donating my car to the Clifton Lions Club?

The Clifton Lions Club is LOCAL and 100% of the money we receive goes back to support our charitable operations.  We deduct or take NO MONEY from charitable funds to pay for our administrative expenses.

You benefit by being able to reduce your taxable income when you itemize your taxes. Our Vehicle Donation Program allows you to take a larger legal tax deduction than almost every other car donation program in the US!  We process and sell at retail all vehicles donated – we don’t send them to a third party processor to be wholesaled off at pennies on the dollar.

You avoid the costs and hassles associated with selling your car. No need to pay for continuing vehicle registration, insurance, and repairs to keep your car in running condition while you wait for a buyer.

Can I purchase a vehicle that was previously donated?

Yes, once vehicles have been inspected, repaired, and brought to Virginia State Safety Inspection standards, they are listed for sale on Criagslist. To see available vehicles: From the Craigslist>Washington D.C. page, selected “NVA” at the top, look under “For Sale” and select “Cars + Trucks”, choose “For Sale By Owner” and search for #cliftonlions. Our vehicles are clearly labeled as being sold by the Clifton Lions Club. For questions call 703-803-8500.

Tax Related Questions

DISCLAIMER: This section is not intended as tax advice.  It contains answers to questions we most frequently receive.  Please make sure to consult with your tax advisor or attorney about how the IRS rules apply to your particular situation.

How does the new 2005 tax law effect my tax deduction?

The IRS has changed the way you can deduct a vehicle donation as of January 1, 2005. At one time, a donor could deduct the fair market value of any vehicle donation – but no more. The new rules allow the donor to deduct only the amount the Charity receives for the vehicle. Most Charities do nothing more than wholesale or auction off their donations, resulting in limited income and a limited tax deduction to the donor. There are exceptions to the rule and that is where your donation to the Lions Vehicle Donation Program is different!

One of the exceptions to the new IRS regulations allows donors to still deduct the fair market value of their vehicle, provided the Charity “materially improves the vehicle”. Since we run the program ourselves, are discriminating in the vehicles we choose, repair and materially improve vehicles that we accept, and sell at retail most of the vehicles we get, our donors is still able to deduct the fair market value of the vehicle donation from their taxes!  Many vehicles sell at above market value giving you an even larger deduction.

Do I get a tax receipt when I donate my vehicle?

Yes and No – Please read on.  Our representative will issue an “Acknowledgement of Receipt of Vehicle” at the time of pick-up. This is not your final tax receipt unless your vehicle sells for less than $500. We normally do not accept vehicles that sell for this low a price.  This “Acknowledgement” will show your name, as well as the year, make, and model of the vehicle you are donating. It will be your only receipt if your vehicle sells for less than $500.

How is the value determined on the vehicle donated?

The value is determined by the gross proceeds raised from the sale of the donated vehicle, or the fair market value of the donation.  This sale amount will be filled in on the Form 1098-C that we send you when your donation sells within 30 days.  Should the vehicle not sell within 30 days, we still send you the required Form 1098-C with a certification that we materially improved your vehicle.  In this case, as a courtesy, we will send a copy of the Kelly Blue Book Value Guide for your vehicle at the time you donated it so YOU can determine your donation’s value.

How much can I claim as a deduction?

According to the tax law effective January 1, 2005, if the claimed value of the donated vehicle exceeds $500, the taxpayer is limited to the gross proceeds of the sale, or the “fair market value” if the vehicle is “materially improved” by the charity that receives the donation and not sold within the 30 day time frame allowed before the Form 1098-C must be sent to the donor.


We highly recommend that you contact your tax professional for any tax related questions.  We cannot take any responsibility for tax related advice.