Vehicle: Car: Service
Pre-Donation Car Service   (+3, -1)  [vote for, against]
Free Car Care for future donors

Organizations that take donations of automobiles should offer some sort of pre-donation car service. The idea being that if I know I am going to donote my car in within the next 6 months or 5K mikes it is unlikely that I am going to do a lot of maintainance on it. The receiving organization could offer to do a checkup and mild service to ensure that they get the car in decent condition.

Some sort of contract would need to be drawn up to avoid people pulling out of the deal after getting that new timing belt. I suspect that the organization must do some amount of fixup work before they pass the car along anyway, so this would be just a little proactive. It also might entice people to donate their car if they know they can keep it running for free for an extra 6 months.
-- blahginger, May 21 2002

Running costs for a car in UK
[angel, May 22 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

U.S. D.O.E. Fact of the Week
"The average 1999 model year automobile costs $5,674 per year to own and operate...". Links to more information at the bottom of the page. [phoenix, May 22 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Google search for +automobile +donation
For anyone interested in seeing what it's about. [phoenix, May 22 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Why shouldn't they wait and see if your timing belt gives out in less than six months? They'll get it either way.

What happens if the car is totaled prior to being donated? Maybe you should have a collision insurance rider on the contract payable to the charity.
-- phoenix, May 22 2002

Me like blahringer idea. It good.
-- thumbwax, May 22 2002

Is this 'donation of automobiles' a USian concept? I'm fairly certain it doesn't happen here. Why do people do it?
-- angel, May 22 2002

I'll polish and wax and maintain a car for 6 months if I can then have it... Any offers to
-- goatfaceKilla, May 22 2002

train/bus ticket in return for blood donation
-- po, May 22 2002

Life cycle of a west coast car: new, same owner for 3 years or until warranty expires. Second owner keeps and commutes until over 250k kms. Third owner uses for either a) lawn decoration b) vacation property transportation c) to live in.

Charities here would certainly get the short end of the stick on this deal, would need something more like a two year contract.
-- rbl, May 22 2002

Giving an old car away here is a bit of a white elephant concept. It costs £150 for the annual tax, then there's the mandatory insurance and the annual inspection. It's easily £500 a year before it turns a wheel.
-- angel, May 22 2002

[phoenix] When your timing belt goes it does a lot of extra damage to the engine, fixing it up front is *much* more cost effective.

Good point about the car getting totalled.

[angel] the charity whould not cover your basic costs to own a car (if you can not afford the taxes or insurance on your car then donate it now rather than in six months) The idea is that they would attempt to get the car in the best condition possible by doing some basic maintenance that the current owner would not do given the fact that they are giving the car away eventually.
-- blahginger, May 22 2002

C'mon Bliss, I thought I showed you how to change your blinker fluid and muffler bearings already..
-- dag, May 22 2002

blahginger- not be be anal, but what the heck: some cars have interference engines, the timing belt goes and takes the valve train and pistons with it, other cars have non-interference engines that don't cause any damage at all when the belt fails.
-- rbl, May 22 2002

yes rbl that is anal.
-- blahginger, May 23 2002

po TE to, po TAH to
-- rbl, May 23 2002

[blahginger]: My point was not so much about the charity paying the current owner's bills, but about the fixed costs attached to keeping a car. "I'm giving you a gift. It'll cost you a thousand dollars to accept it." The query relates to the entire notion of giving cars away, not to this idea, which seems eminently sensible.
Fortunately, my car has a non-interference engine (a 'safe' engine, as they're called here). My timing belt gave up at 70mph last year.
-- angel, May 23 2002

random, halfbakery