HARD-pressed charities are missing out on a £200m new income stream – with the pot of hidden cash simply gathering dust, and rust, in the nation’s driveways, it was revealed today.
That’s how much money can be raised through a ground-breaking initiative that enables the third sector to benefit from unwanted, unloved and unsafe cars that are being taken off the UK’s roads in ever-increasing numbers.
Now Giveacar, a social enterprise that has pioneered a new way of steering old ‘bangers’ into charity cash, is challenging the Chancellor, George Osborne, to follow in America’s tyreprints – and introduce a ‘green’ tax break scheme for participating motorists when he unveils his Budget this week.
“Introducing tax benefits for those who donate their unwanted vehicle to charity would be a innovative move by the Chancellor – the equivalent of ‘Gift Aid’ for scrapping gas-guzzlers,” said Giveacar’s founder Tom Chance.
Latest analysis predicts that this year will be the end of the road for at least two million vehicles – approximately one every four minutes. With rocketing fuel prices and insurance premiums, coupled with a crackdown on insurance cheats, experts warn that more motorists will bid their ‘wheels’ goodbye.
Giveacar has already raised more than £250,000 for more than 300 charities and voluntary groups since it was launched by former geography graduate Tom, 24, after hitting upon the idea in his student bedroom at Nottingham University.
“This is a new source of income that can make a real difference to charities who are struggling to maintain their valuable services in the current economic climate,” he said.
“It’s a largely untapped area of potential growth and a tax incentive would help to speed up charities’ access to a pot of money that is already worth £200m – and growing. At the moment it is just rusting away.”
He added: “The concept of helping charities by donating unwanted cars is well-established in the United States, where a tax break has been successfully introduced. A similar tax regime here would not only benefit the third sector, it would also reduce our carbon footprint and boost flagging sales of new cars.”
A similar incentive works well in the States, where not-for-profit organisations have come to rely increasingly on the revenue from car donations.
Donors have a number of qualifications to meet in order to claim a tax deduction in their annual return- including written confirmation of the proceeds received by the chosen charity. They also have to make sure that they using an accredited organisation to dispose of their car for charity. Charities also have to prove their eligibility to receive tax-deductible car donations. The size of tax deduction claimed is limited to the proceeds raised at either auction or scrapyard.
Regardless of their condition, cars are picked up by Giveacar free-of-charge direct from people’s homes and sold at auction or disposed of at an authorised treatment centre. Proceeds from the sale – an average of £100 – are donated to a charity of the car owner’s choice, or one of the Giveacar’s partner charities. Even if the banger is scrapped, it still nets the selected good cause a minimum £40.
For more details visit Giveacar or call the Giveacar team on 020 0011 1664