Rather than spending time and energy selling your retired ride to a stranger, why not choose the easy – and altruistic – option?
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When looking to offload your old car, it may feel like trading it in or selling it to a stranger are your only options.

But if the rigmarole of organising a roadworthy certificate, dealing with tyre-kickers and having to take endless photos of the inside of your slightly scuffed glove box doesn’t appeal... allow us to introduce you to another, better way.

Melbourne-based not-for-profit Kids Under Cover has been running its Donate Your Car Program since 2006, allowing car owners to donate their pre-loved vehicle to raise funds to prevent youth homelessness.

Since its inception, the program has received over 20,000 donated cars from altruistic Aussies.

Despite the name, the Donate Your Car Program accepts everything from boats to caravans, motorcycles and trailers, with 100 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of these items put towards support for vulnerable people between the ages of 12 and 25.

Not only is the program hassle-free – requiring minimal paperwork, no roadworthy certificate and a contactless handover with a tow truck driver who comes to you – it is also entirely tax deductible, providing you with a receipt for the sale amount of your vehicle.

And, of course, it’s all for an excellent cause. “Kids Under Cover’s mission is to provide young people at risk of homelessness the foundations to strengthen their connection to family, community, and education,” explains the charity's CEO, Jo Swift.

“At the heart of our work is our Studio Program. One- or two-bedroom studios are built in the backyards of a family or carer’s home. This provides secure and stable accommodation for young people at risk of homelessness. We also provide scholarships to ensure ongoing engagement with education.”

While every donation is appreciated, Ms Swift says there’s one particular contribution that sticks out as being the most memorable.

“Back in July 2017 we received a very unique donation from our friend Ross Wilson. The Australian singer-songwriter donated his beloved ‘big blue Jackaroo’,” Ms Swift recalls.

“Ross told us many stories about the history of the car, which is steeped in Australian music history, having been used to carry music equipment to and from gigs. Before Ross, the Holden belonged to another Kids Under Cover supporter, Mike Brady, known for the football anthem Up There Cazaly.”

Image: Ross Wilson's big blue Holden Jackaroo. Credit: Facebook

With a towing site in every state, Kids Under Cover is able to collect your used vehicle (or trailer or boat) no matter your location.

Keen to help out? Here’s how.

How to donate your car to Kids Under Cover

1. Check the car is in good condition

While donations don't require a roadworthy or even current registration, they generally need to have all their parts present and intact, not be damaged beyond regular wear and tear and not be a write-off.

Each vehicle donated is assessed before pickup, taking into consideration a range of factors including location and towing costs to transport the vehicle to the auction site.

2. Fill out the form online

Head to this link to fill out the donation form. You'll require your contact details, vehicle registration (current or previous), engine number, odometer reading and VIN number. Photos are optional but always welcomed.

While completing the form, you'll be asked about your receipt preferences. You can either opt for no tax deductible receipt, a receipt based on the final sale amount at auction, or a receipt based on the ATO's valuation of your vehicle.

"All vehicles valued by the ATO at a current market value of more than $5000 are eligible for a tax-deductible receipt based on the ATO valuation," Kids Under Cover explains.

3. Arrange collection of the car

The Kids Under Cover team will contact you within three business days to confirm your details and share next steps.

The tow truck company will then contact you directly to organise a collection location and time (although you will need to hand over the key, this process can be made contactless).

Prior to collection, you will need to remove the vehicle's number plates and return them to the transport authority as the vehicle will be taken directly to Kids Under Cover's auction partner, Manheim.

4. Wait for the vehicle to sell

Kids Under Cover will set the reserve on your vehicle for auction and bidders will do the rest!

"People can expect to receive their tax-deductible receipt for the sale amount of the vehicle at auction within 8-12 weeks of submitting their donation," Kids Under Cover explains.