As you may know, the government has programs that give free phones, food cards, and learning grants to low-income families. Other programs can give you free housing, healthcare, and monetary assistance every month. However, are there any such programs on how to get a free car from a dealership?
Well, cars are not cheap to own. In the rural areas, yes, you can get a pre-owned model (from the early 2000s) for $3,000 or under. But this is still a lot for some of us without a stable income or any employment at all.
If this feels like your situation, first, keep heart. All will be well.
Secondly, yes, it’s possible to get a free car if you can’t afford one yourself. Thus, making it easier to get to work, school, or raise your sibling in those areas public transportation is an issue.
Can I Get A Free Car From The Government?
While many programs from the government give basic support, there aren’t any that offer vehicles. However, the government assistance you get on these basic needs may help you save a little money each month.
If thrifty and careful, your little savings could get enough to buy you a car. The savings can get enough for a brand-new car if you’re patient. Or save until $3,000 or slightly under, which can be enough to get a decent preowned vehicle model.
Before you proceed to buy a car, you should remember that government assistance programs are only available to low-income individuals. When you enroll, these programs (not all) usually determine your eligibility by the total resources (assets).
Total resources include not just your monthly income but also the things you own (assets), such as vehicles. If the car value increases your resources level above the cap eligible for assistance benefits, you get disqualified.
Different government assistance programs usually have different qualification requirements for income and resources. Thus, I’d suggest revisiting the rules and regulations for the assistance benefits you’ve enrolled in to make sure you still qualify if you get a car.
How to Get a Free Car from a Dealership
As just mentioned, there are no programs from the government that give free cars. However, you may still be lucky to get a free car from a dealership with the offer.
Of course, the free car offers are usually not with the regular dealership. To get a free car, you’ll have to go through private organizations, charities, or individuals that can connect you to the offers.
Sadly, the private organizations and charities that give free cars usually receive thousands of applications. The chances of qualifying are usually slim as they just have a few cars (300 per year) to hand out.
Speaking of qualifying, the free cars from these private organizations and charities usually target individuals with a low income. When applying, you’ll have to provide proof of your financial needs. Other requirements will depend on the organization you’re using to get the free car.
Programs You Can Get A Free Car For Personal/ Company Use
Over half a dozen ways you can get a free car from a dealership here in the US include:
Apply with Cars 4 Heroes
The first way you can get a free car is to apply with Cars 4 Heroes. It’s one of the oldest private organizations that has been giving away cars to individuals unable to afford one on their own.
Cars 4 Heroes has registered with the government as a charitable organization under 501 (C) (3) tax exemptions. And as the name suggests, it mainly targets our American “heroes” on active military, veterans, and first responders.
Survivors and families of these heroes of ours can also qualify for a free car with Cars 4 Heroes. But, of course, you’ll need to prove how you relate with the active-duty military/ veterans/ first responders.
Of all the private organizations and charities that give free cars I’ve gone through, Cars 4 Heroes has the best offerings. It gives out hundreds of cars per year. And the best part is they give out the cars exactly as they receive them.
If the car they received as a donation has minor issues, Cars 4 Heroes will repair it to make sure it’s road-worthy. Then, those cars received with major problems or not road-worthy are sold, and they use the proceeds to repair those with minor repairs.
Apply through 800-Charity Cars
The second way you can get a free car is through 800-Charity Cars. As the name suggests, 800-Charity Cars is a charitable organization, that receives car donations from well-wishers and then gives them away.
On its profile page, 800-Charity Cars actually identifies as a charity cars program under 501 (C) (3) non-profit category. The program has been active for quite a long time- since 1996. Thus, you don’t have to worry about being conned as many of the “free car donations” organizations advertised online.
Nonetheless, 800-Charity Cars usually don’t give out cars directly through their website. You’ll have to apply for the free car through their distribution page at freecharitycars.org.
At the time of writing, 800-Charity Cars claims to have given out more than 9000 free cars to struggling families. By simple math, this would mean they have given out over 300 cars per year. So, even with the thousands of applications the organization receives, you have over 300 chances of qualifying.
Apply with an Online Car Donation
Online Car Donation is another organization that aims at helping struggling families with a means of transport. The mode of transport is not only cars and vans.
Online Car Donation also receives donations of trucks, motorcycles, and boats. However, larger vehicles like trucks or boats are often available to rescue organizations looking to improve their services. Private non-profit organizations can also apply to support their charitable causes.
As for individual or families, Online Car Donation gives free vehicles to the following categories of individuals:
- Victims of physical abuse
- Families of active-duty military/ veterans
- Individuals/ families living in homeless shelters
- Individuals with physical challenges but can still drive
When you apply for a free vehicle with Online Car Donation, make sure you “describe your vehicle needs”. Your story determines how the company can help and the kind of vehicle they can send.
Apply at Good News Garage
If not lucky with the other options, Good News Garage (GNG) is yet another charity vehicle donation program you can get a free car. The program is part of the Ascentria Community Services, Inc., a nonprofit serving people in New England.
While you may be hearing about them today, Good News Garage has been active since 1996. They currently have the free cars program in the northeastern region, specifically Vermont, Massachusetts. and New Hampshire. But their mission statement shows their next goal is to expand their services to more areas.
At the time of writing, Good News Garage claims to have given out over 5,500 vehicles. The organization usually awards qualified individuals vehicles under the WTW (Wheels to Work) program.
To apply for a free car with Good News Garage, you’ll have to use the specifics of your region. Different states have different requirements to qualify, as a place like Massachusetts is only available to people with disabilities.
If ineligible for a vehicle, Good News Garage also has an R2G (Ready To Go) program that offers transportation services. The service is still limited only to those around Vermont and Massachusetts areas for now.
Apply at With Causes Charitable Network
With Causes Charitable Network is another private organization that assists struggling families. The assistance you can get ranges from basic needs to free vehicles to help you get around places.
As a charitable organization, With Causes usually operates on donations from well-wishers. If the assistance you need is a mode of transportation, the kind of car you get will depend on what they have. The program is available to the various categories of individuals:
- Low-income families in need
- (Women) Survivors of physical abuse
- Families of active military and veterans
- Student in needs
When you apply for a free car with With Causes, make sure you explain your situation and needs well. Once the reviewing board reviews your application and can help, they will contact you within 30 days. If they don’t contact you after 30 days, it means they weren’t able to assist at the time. But you can apply again.
Apply with the Giving Center
Giving Center is yet another 501(C) (3) charitable organization that aims at supporting individuals and families in need. The needs are not only food and clothing, but also housing, health, education, and transport.
As the others above, the free vehicle Giving Center may give you is usually part of the things received through donations. The vehicle charity program accepts donations of cars, trucks, RV/ campers, motorcycles, and boats. So, don’t shy away from explaining your exact struggles and needs.
Giving Center offers assistance to individuals/ families, as well as other charitable programs that aim at helping others. The organization also accepts applications for case management officers applying for someone else (unable to apply for themselves).
When you apply for a free car, Giving Center requires you to explain your situation and needs precisely. It will even require proof of why you haven’t been able to get the vehicle on your own.
Once you apply, the reviewing board will contact you within 30 days if they’re able to help. If the board doesn’t contact you within the time frame, it means they couldn’t help at the time, or your story wasn’t convincing. But the good news is that you can reapply again.
Apply with Vehicles for Change
Vehicles for Change (or simply VFC) is yet another 501(C)(3) organization that aims at closing transportation gaps from unemployment and other inequalities. As a car charity program, it has been operating since 1999.
To this point, VFC claims to have awarded over 6,800 cars to families in need. But unlike the other vehicle charities I’ve mentioned, it usually doesn’t give the cars for absolutely nothing.
After receiving a car donation, VFC inspects it to make it’s road-worthy and repairs those with minor issues. Then, once the vehicle meets its quality standards, they award it to eligible individuals/ families at a minimal fee.
While it might seem shady, VFC awards their cars to eligible individuals for as little as $950. If unable to pay all the cash upfront, the organization accepts small monthly installments of as low as $90.
While I’m sure there are many others, the seven are the easiest ways to get a free car. The free car programs rely on the vehicles they receive from well-wishers. Thus, the kind of vehicle you receive will depend on what’s available.
When choosing a car charity program to apply with, make sure it’s legit and not those sham organizations all over the web. A good place to start is from the seven programs I’ve just covered in the guide.
Alternatively, you can raise funds to purchase a car through a crowdfunding program like GoFundMe or Modest Needs. If your story can get through the community, you can raise enough funds to purchase a pre-owned or brand-new car.
Besides a go-fund-me, you can ask friends or family members for assistance- either with a car or funds to buy one. Some employers also provide their workers with a means of transport, which sometimes includes a free company vehicle.