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How To Get Give Away Cars For Free

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Being unable to make ends meet financially can feel like being dragged along a vicious cycle. Cars are necessary for many parts of the country, depending on where you live. A safe and dependable vehicle is essential for getting to and from work, school, or raising children. 

There is no public transportation in many regions, and cars are the most reliable and affordable mode of transportation. A number of people, such as single mothers, low-income workers, and individuals with disabilities, are unable to afford cars. 

The need for a car is often greater than many people's ability to afford it. In response, some organizations give away cars for free like Goodwill, to bridge this gap. 

If you are disabled and cannot afford to pay rent, read our blog post rental assistance for disabled people on social security.

Does the Government Give Away Cars For Free?

Does the Government Give Away Cars For Free?

If you or your family cannot provide for your or your family's basic needs, some government programs and grants are available to help. There are, however, no government programs that give away cars for free. People who frequently need a free car turn to private charities or organizations created to address this need.

Government assistance can range from food to healthcare, housing, and, sometimes, financial assistance. When you receive assistance covering these basic costs, you may be able to get special financing for low-income households or a grant. As a result, you can save money to buy a car.

You need to be careful if you receive government assistance. Your government support could be revoked if you receive a free car because it could be considered additional income. Ensure you read the rules and regulations before accepting a free car to avoid getting disqualified from your food or housing assistance program.

If you are a struggling single mother, read our blog post on helpful government assistance programs for single mothers.

Charities And Programs That Give Away Cars For Free

Many organizations cater to this need through cash donations and old cars given away to charities. Having a car can make a big difference to your financial situation. 

For such organizations to provide you with a free car, you must demonstrate the need. To find the organization that best meets your needs, check out the eligibility requirements of each one.


Military personnel, veterans, and their families can receive free cars through the Cars4Heroes car donation program. Millions of Americans depend on public transportation to work, pick up and drop off their school-going children and access new employment opportunities and healthcare. 

Many eligible people live in rural areas, but most live in large metropolitan areas. To apply, you must fill out an online application form containing information about your military service, your branch of service, your financial situation, and your specific vehicle needs. DD-214 forms must be provided as proof of military service. 

You will have three years to wait for your application to be approved, so even if you don't get one on your first attempt, you might still get one within three years.


The same people who back the Cars4Heroes program offer the Cars4Christmas program. In contrast to the Cars4Heroes program, which is only offered to veterans and first responders, this program provides free and basic transportation for everyone. 

Besides helping people who have lost loved ones to illness, death, tragedy, and disability, the organization also assists those directly affected by natural disasters. Approximately 20 vehicles are given away yearly from donations out of over 20,000 applications. 

It's still worth applying, even if the odds of getting a car are slim. Your story may attract the interest of a private donor, or you may make connections to a different organization that can help you get a free car.

1-800-Charity Cars

FreeCharityCars provides free cars to those in need through 1-800-Charity. While the latter accepts and raises funds for donated cars, the latter accepts applications for free cars and provides cars to people in need. 

FreeCharityCars is not accepting applications due to the huge number of pending applications, but you can check their website occasionally to see when new applications will be accepted. Anyone who wishes to donate a car still has the option to do so. Donations to 1-800-Charity help people and free towing are included.

Providing free cars to low-income families and individuals, disabled people, veterans and military families, and the homeless is the biggest goal of Online Car Donation. It's a great option for those seeking a reliable used car at no cost. The nonprofit also offers free trucks, vans, and modified cars for disabled people.

For a free car, you can apply online, and the application must be filled out completely so they can determine whether you're eligible. You will be notified as soon as their staff reviews your application and determines if they can help you based on their inventory. 

Once your application is received, we will begin the selection process within 30 days. Applicants who do not get an update are encouraged to refrain from calling them and reapplying. 

Vehicles For Change

In conjunction with different social services agencies, Vehicles for Change aims to assist individuals who seek to become self-sufficient by equipping them with a car to access employment opportunities. 

Since the organization was founded in 1999, they have provided over 7,000 cars to needy families and assisted more than 24,000 families in rebuilding their lives.

Several requirements must be met if you wish to apply for a donated car, including:

  • Work at least 30 hours a week or have a verified job offer.
  • Possessing a driver's license from your home state.
  • Your driving record does not include any DWIs or DUIs.
  • Having the ability to pay for insurance, fuel, and repairs 
  • The ability to pay taxes, tags, and title fees

Members of Vehicles for Change's partner social service and job readiness agencies can also win cars through their car award program. This program provides low-income individuals and families with vehicles, and loans are guaranteed at low-interest rates. 

Applicants must be represented by their caseworker or cooperating agencies to apply for this program. 

Good News Garage

Free cars are available at Good News Garage in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont for needy people. Donated vehicles are repaired and given back to low-income families who need a car instead of being sold. 

Several car dealerships and garages sponsor the program, including Auto Clinic, Auto Care Plus, and Bob & Sons. Their programs include:

  1. Wheels to Work: Refurbished automobiles are provided by this program to qualified Massachusetts and Vermont residents.
  2. Ready To Go: Under this program, shuttle services are available on-demand to take passengers to work, medical appointments, or job interviews.
  3. JumpStart: This program is also offered to help those who don't qualify for Wheels to Work. These vehicles are refurbished, donated by the company, and accessible at an affordable and subsidized price. The JumpStart application process is not currently open to new applicants, but you can check periodically to see if it has become available. 

Working Cars For Working Families

Working Cars for Working Families is a National Consumer Law Center program that ensures working families can access reliable cars at fair terms. In addition to improving public policy, collecting data, and promoting nonprofits that assist struggling families, they collaborate with many organizations. 

You can find free or low-cost vehicles in your area by searching through their online database. Check out the program requirements for more information on eligibility and the application process. 

Buying a car is an expensive endeavor. 

Imagine getting a car for free without worrying about the cost. Many programs give cars away for free, though this may sound too good to be true. 

Getting a cheap or free car may be possible if you know where to look. Your financial situation might change if you break the debt cycle and find a free car through a little research and hard work. Access to a vehicle allows people to do jobs that were once unattainable. 

It would help if you remembered that free cars aren't truly free. Repairs or refurbishments may be necessary. Furthermore, you will need money to afford fuel, maintenance, and the associated paperwork. 

To read more about different assistance programs offered by the government or private organizations, check out the rest of the Gov-Relations resources. For single mothers looking to buy their first home, read our article on first-time home buyer grants for single moms

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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