Can’t Afford a Car? Here’s How to Get a Free Car

Can’t Afford a Car? Here’s How to Get a Free Car

Depending on your location, a car may be a necessity.

Without a reliable and safe vehicle, it’s hard to get to school, work, or to raise children. Public transportation is not always available in all areas. This makes a car the best option.

Many people, including single mothers, low-income workers and disabled people, need a car but are unable to afford it. There are many organizations that understand this need and offer free cars to help bridge the gap.

Is the government offering free vehicle programs?

If you are unable to provide for your family, there are many grants and programs that can help. There is no way to get a government-issued car for free. To find one, you will need to contact private charities, individuals, or organizations.

Although you cannot get a car for free from the government you can still receive food, shelter, and financial assistance. These basic necessities can help you save money for your next vehicle.

You should be cautious if you receive government assistance. You could be considered to have “additional income” if you receive a car free of charge. This would make it difficult for you to qualify for government assistance. Before accepting a car for free, make sure you check the eligibility requirements and income rules of those programs.

Charities that donate vehicles to disabled or low-income individuals

These organizations get thousands of applications each year. You do need to prove financial need in order to be eligible for one. However, it can make a huge difference to your financial situation. You can review the eligibility requirements and research the organization that best suits your needs.

1. Cars4Heroes

Cars4Heroes is an 501(c),(3) organization that offers free cars to military veterans and first responders. You will need to complete an application detailing your service history, branch or first responder, reasons for needing the car and other personal details.

Your application will be kept on file for three year after you submit it. If you don’t get one the first time you try, you may receive one at a later date.

2. Cars4Christmas

Cars4Christmas is run by the same people as Cars4Heroes. However, it offers basic transportation for free to all individuals and not just military veterans or first responders. This organization assists people whose lives are disrupted by tragedy, illness, disability, or natural disasters.

They receive more than 20,000 applications each year and, on the basis of donations, give away about 20 cars. Although the chances of you receiving a car through this organization are low, it is worth applying. It’s possible to be connected to a private donor, or to other organizations that could help you get a car.

3. 800-Charity Cars

1-800-Charity partners with FreeCharityCars in providing free cars for people in need. While the former is focused on accepting donations and raising funds for people in need, the latter allows those who are looking to get a car to apply.

FreeCharityCars is currently swamped with applications. They are not accepting new applications. However, they do keep their website updated to let you know when new applications will open. You can still donate your car to FreeCharityCars. 1-800-Charity provides free towing and ensures that 100% of donations go towards helping people.

Vehicles that aren’t working will be either sold or restored to their original condition and donated.


, a part of the Network, is another charity that provides free cars to people in need.

  • Victims of domestic violence
  • People with disabilities
  • Shelters for homeless families
  • Families attempting to be self-sufficient (getting government assistance)
  • Veterans and military families
  • Other non-profit organizations

The application process for these grants is very simple. Only basic biographical details and a description of what you need are required. Once you have submitted your application, their staff will review it and determine if they are able to help.

You will be contacted within thirty days if you have been selected to receive a free car. They encourage you to apply again if you don’t hear back from them.


The online car donation is designed to give free cars to as many families and individuals as possible. This is a great way to get a reliable and free car. They will often give away vans or trucks and sometimes can provide modified vehicles for people with special needs.

Online applications are accepted for free cars. They ask that you complete the application completely so they can make the best decision. If you are selected, they will inform you within 30 working days. If they do not contact you within 30 days of receiving your application, they will ask you to not call them and instead submit another application for reconsideration.

6. Vehicles for Change

Motor Vehicles for Change is an organization that works with social service agencies in order to assist those who are on their way to self-sufficiency, but need a vehicle to get to work.

The organization has a long list of requirements for applicants who wish to donate a car.

  • A job offer that is verifiable or at least 30 hours per week
  • A driver’s licence in the state where you live
  • Driving record free of DUIs and DWIs
  • Capability to pay the ongoing costs of car ownership (insurance and fuel, repairs, etc.).
  • Ability to pay the taxes, tags and title fees

Vehicles for Change offers a car-award program for members of partner social services and job readiness agencies. This program offers vehicles to low-income families who qualify and also guarantees low-interest loans. You cannot apply for this program. Your caseworker or cooperating agency will have to apply on your behalf.

You can explore the Vehicles for Change links if you reside in one of the three states they have partnered with (Maryland Virginia and Michigan). You can also find a cheap or free car in these areas.

7. Good News Garage

Good News Garage provides another option to find free cars for those in need in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. To find out if you are eligible for their state-funded Wheels to Work programs you will need to verify your eligibility.

JumpStart is also available to “refurbished, donated vehicles to qualified workers at an affordable, subsidised cost.” It was created to assist those who aren’t eligible for Wheels to Work. JumpStart is currently closed for new applications. However, you can check their website periodically to see if the process has been opened.

They also have an “Other Transportation Resources” page that shares links to other organizations that may be able to help you find affordable or free transportation options.

8. Working Cars for Working Families

Working Cars for Working Families is a national consumer law center initiative. It aims to make sure that all working families have access to a reliable vehicle at fair terms.

You can search their database to locate programs in your local area that may be able provide you with a low- or free vehicle. To determine if you are eligible for the program and how the application process works, you will need to read the requirements.

There are other ways to get a free car

You might have to think outside the box if you don’t fit the criteria above. These options require you to step outside your comfort zone to ask for help from your neighbors or family.

Related: Do You Need Money Right Now? There are 40 ways to earn cash when you urgently need it

9. Contact your local church

Local churches often have a line item for benevolence in their budget. This could allow them to give away a car right away. People whose homes have been flooded, their roofs collapsed, or cars that aren’t working have received help from churches.

If you have been involved in the church before, this option is most effective. Your local church may be able to help you if you also require clothing or help with food and utilities.

10. Ask for a donation from your local dealer

Although local dealerships don’t usually donate cars directly, they may be able to help you if they have an older model or trade-in they think will sell. You can write a letter to your local dealer explaining your situation if you are facing difficult times.

This is a good time to do it, as people will be feeling more charitable at the end. If you are willing to share your story, the dealership might be more inclined to help you.

11. Look for a job that offers a car

You might need to do some research, but there are many jobs that provide you with a vehicle. Some of these may allow you to use it for personal purposes. There are many options for jobs like service technician, in the-field social worker and utility worker. You also have the option of truck driver or delivery driver.

You should always check with your employer if you find a job that offers this perk. Ask your employer if the car can be taken out of the state and who is responsible for routine maintenance, gas, tolls and whether you are allowed to take passengers.

Related: 13 Methods to Make Money Delivering Packages and Foods.

12. Ask family and friends for help

Ask your family and friends for assistance if you are having trouble finding a car to rent from charity or social service agencies. Although it might seem like a huge request to ask your friends and family for a car for free, they might be willing to lend you one or sell you one at a very low price.

You might be able to repair an old car for a lower price if you are handy.

13. Craigslist

Many people try to sell their old vehicles on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Although it can be more work and time-consuming for people to sell their vehicles to dealers, a private sale can make them a few hundred dollars. This is a great way to get a cheap or free used car if you are good at cars or have someone you can help you.

You can sell the car for scrap metal or parts and use that money to buy a new car. Before you consider this option, make sure you get more than what you pay.

14. Goodwill

Most people associate Goodwill with clothes, books, and baby items. People can also donate their cars. To find out if there are any cars available, you can contact your local Goodwill or view their inventory of car auctions.

You can purchase a Goodwill car by purchasing a online sale from anywhere in the United States. They do not transport or ship cars. You will need to arrange transport to pick up your car.

15. Create a GoFundMe

GoFundMe can be used to purchase a car cheaply. Feel comfortable sharing your story about how you got there. You can emphasize how buying a car or getting a new car will help you get started. You can be honest about how the car has impacted your life but you shouldn’t hide the truth. Don’t take advantage of others’ generosity.

You can also request donations or grants through sites such as Before submitting an application, make sure to read the eligibility requirements.

You could be able to change your financial situation by getting a free used car

It can feel like you are stuck in a vicious circle when you have fallen on hard financial times. It’s difficult to find the money to purchase a car. Without a car you can’t go to work. This is a tough feeling – I know, I’ve been there.

You might be able to find a car that is cheap or even free. You can find a car for free by doing some research and working hard. This could help you break the cycle and improve your financial situation. Access to a vehicle can make it possible to do the jobs you once thought impossible.

Remember that even a car you get for free is not truly yours. You may need parts to repair or refurbish the vehicle. You should also ensure that you have enough money to pay for essentials such as car insurance, proper registration, and gas and tolls.

It is not a good idea to buy a car and then have no money to maintain it.

About the author

Hi, I'm Lisa. I went from losing everything in my divorce, to beating all odds and becoming a financially free, independent Woman. My blog is about gaining financial freedom. Thanks for supporting my journey!

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