Do you need a car but can’t afford a new one? There are ways to get the best car for you without a cost. Read on to learn about how to get a free car.
From market apps where you can find those who want to donate a car, charitable groups that provide used cars to families who need them, to churches, foundations, and government institutions that offer financing or free cars—you can get cheap or absolutely free cars to help you out if you’re in dire financial straits.
Some companies provide free auto benefits to their employees or platforms where you can raise funds for a new vehicle. These opportunities sure beat being left at the roadside without a ride. You just have to fill out some forms or meet certain requirements like where you live, income level, age, or driving history.
Check out the details in the curated list below, and be on your way to a better future.
Legit Ways To Get a Free Car – Apps/Platforms/Sites
1. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is also an excellent place to hunt for jobs, boost your business, purchase or sell items, score great deals, and even snag stuff for free, including cars.
The online platform has made it super simple to post items you’re looking to give away. On Facebook Marketplace, you can find cars up for grabs starting at just $1.
Craigslist is also one of the best ways to get a free car. Just hop onto the website, and you’ll find numerous listings of cars being given away or sold at meager prices.
But remember, while Craigslist can be a great place to find deals, it’s also essential to stay safe. Always meet the seller in a public area, bring a friend along, and thoroughly inspect the car before making any commitments.
There are alternatives to Craigslist for more options and choices.
3. Nextdoor App
Scoring a free car can seem like a long shot, but with the Nextdoor app, you might just strike gold. This neighborhood-focused app often has folks giving away items they no longer need, and occasionally, you’ll find cars listed too.
Download the app, set up your profile, and explore the ‘Free’ section to get started. If you’re lucky, you could stumble upon a neighbor looking to pass along a vehicle they no longer use.
Legit Ways To Get a Free Car – Charity Programs
4. 1-800 Charity Cars
1-800-Charity is a famous company that matches donated cars with needy families. They help many folks, including veterans, domestic abuse survivors, families in temporary housing, and people hit by natural disasters.
You can apply for the free cars through their website, FreeCharityCars.org, specifically for charity cars.
Don’t get confused by the name. Cars4Christmas is a fantastic organization that gives away cars for free during holidays and throughout the year. All you need to do is complete a form and wait for their green light.
6. Wheels for Hope
If you search for ‘how to get a free car,’ you might stumble upon Wheels for Hope. It’s a charity approved by the IRS, a 501(c)(3) organization. It works in North Carolina and gives cars to those who need them.
If you contact your local Goodwill and explain your situation, they can assist you. Sometimes, people give their cars to Goodwill, so you might get a car that someone donated. If not, Goodwill could know about nearby car dealerships or other spots that give free cars to those needing them.
OnlineCarDonation.com is another place to get a donated car if you need one. They give free cars, trucks, and vans to families and people needing them. You just have to ask for one on their website.
But the website states that getting any help from the government, getting a car, or other property as a gift might change the amount of support you get.
9. Vehicles for Change
Vehicles for Change deals in donated cars. While they may not offer you cars entirely free of cost, you can get them at a very low price. They operate mainly in Maryland, Michigan, and North Virginia.
10. United Way Worldwide
United Way Worldwide is a global charity that operates in over 40 countries, assisting more than 1,800 communities. They run a notable program called 2-1-1, a free and confidential service aimed at helping people in the U.S. find nearby resources, including help with acquiring a car if needed.
11. With Causes
With Causes is an organization that aids various groups, including veterans, domestic abuse victims, and homeless families. They provide an “Ask for Help” form on their website for individuals to share their needs. They could potentially assist if you’re in dire need of a car.
Legit Ways To Get a Free Car – Other Ways
You can contact your local church to get a free car. The church might be unable to give you a car, but they can show you where to find local help. Some churches even raise money for people who need it, so they might be able to help you somehow.
All you need to do is ask. Tell the staff about your situation and why you need a car, and they might be able to assist you.
13. Government Assistance Programs
Government assistance programs are also great for getting help when looking for free cars. Programs such as Grants.gov allow you to apply for a free car.
However, government-assisted programs prefer organizations compared to individual applicants. So, you might pray for your luck and apply for such programs.
14. The Grantsmanship Center
The Grantsmanship Center has been there for around 50 years, offering funds for various reasons to Native Americans. You can use the funding for anything, including getting a car.
You have to make a good proposal and apply for the funding. The center will review the submission, request an in-person meeting, and decide whether you’ll get the financing.
15. Jobs that Provide Free Cars
Several job opportunities offer a company car as part of their benefits package. It is widespread in roles where travel is a significant part of the job. Sales representatives, for example, often receive a company car. They typically need to meet with clients in various locations, so having a company car can be a huge advantage.
Similarly, real estate agents who frequently travel to show homes to potential buyers might also benefit from a company-provided vehicle.
You could get a free car by using Crowdfunding. It’s where you ask people online to give money for something you need, like a car. You must write about your situation and why you need the car. Then, people who want to help can give money. You could get enough money to buy a car if enough people contribute.
Who Needs a Free Car?
Cars provide a means of transportation, offer a sense of independence, and an opportunity to improve financial stability. According to Forbes, 91.7% of households in the United States own at least one vehicle in 2021.
However, the high cost of purchasing and maintaining a vehicle can be a significant barrier for many families, particularly for 8.3% of households. The financial strain of new car payments, insurance, and upkeep—pegged at $10,728, or $894 per month in 2022—often makes owning a vehicle unaffordable.
Thankfully, numerous organizations and programs recognize this need and work to bridge the gap. Organizations like 1-800-Charity Cars, Wheels4Hope, and Vehicles for Change donate free or affordable cars to eligible individuals and families.
Free car eligibility requirements may vary but typically include:
- Senior citizens
- Unemployed persons
- Low-income students
- Non-profit organization
Earn by Using Your Car
You can turn your car into a money-making machine. There are numerous ways to earn extra cash just by using your vehicle.
One of the easiest ways is to become a delivery driver for companies like DoorDash and Postmates. These platforms let you pick up restaurant food orders and deliver them to customers’ homes. You get to choose your hours, making it a flexible option for people with busy schedules.
Another way to make money with your car is by driving for rideshare platforms like Uber or Lyft. You’ll pick up passengers and take them to their destinations as a driver. The more you drive, the more you earn. Plus, you can make even more money during peak hours.
Here’s a list of some ways you can earn money using your car:
- Car Wrapping: Some companies will pay you to wrap your car in advertisements. Check out services like Wrapify.
- Renting Your Car: Platforms like Turo or Getaround allow you to rent out your car when you’re not using it.
- Courier Services: Local businesses often need couriers to deliver packages. Check with local courier services in your area.
- Carpooling: If you have a daily commute, you can offer rides to people headed in the same direction through apps like Waze Carpool.
So, if you have a car and some spare time, you can start earning extra money today. Just check the requirements for each company, as some may require specific types of cars or driving records.
Donating Your Used Car
Donating your old car can be a great way to help out those in need. There are many charities out there, like Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross, that accept used cars as donations. When you donate your car, these organizations can use it directly to support their work or sell it to raise funds.
Besides helping a good cause, donating your car can also benefit you. You may get a tax deduction for your donation, which can help reduce your tax bill. Plus, it’s a convenient way to get rid of an old car you no longer need. Many charities even offer free pick-up service, so you don’t have to worry about getting the car to them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – How To Get a Free Car
Is It Possible To Get Free Cars?
Getting free cars is possible through government assistance programs, charity programs, employment benefits, and non-profit organizations. It’s essential to be aware that even in these instances, there could still be expenses linked to the ownership of a vehicle, including insurance, fuel, maintenance, and registration fees.
Where Can I Get a Donated Car for Free?
Different non-profit organizations and charities offer donated cars for free. These include Vehicles for Change, Goodwill, 800-Charity, Cars for Christmas, Good News Garage, and others.
What Organizations Help With Getting a Car?
Organizations such as Goodwill, Good News Garage, and Vehicles for Change may help you get a car for free. When seeking assistance from these organizations, it’s essential to inquire about their specific eligibility criteria, application processes, and the types of assistance they offer. Remember that resources and availability may vary depending on your location and circumstances.
Conclusion – How To Get a Free Car
Americans place a high value on the mobility and freedom that a car can provide, so having one is a necessity that can contribute to people’s productivity and success in society. That is partly why various groups and good samaritans offer free cars to those in need.
Traveling to the workplace (or looking for one!), getting to school on time, going around with your children, and facilitating movement if you have a disability—all these will be easier with a car, even if you struggle to make ends meet. Just need to prove your financial need or meet the organization’s requirements.
So, for starters, let your fingers do the walking, explore each site in this list, and get that free car.
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
- Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
- Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
- Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.