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Free Cars for Low Income Families – 5 Options

Free Cars for Low Income Families – 5 Options

Free car programs are available all over the United States, but it can be difficult to separate the real programs from the scams. Fortunately, we’ve done a bunch of research and we’re here to help.

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We know what it’s like to need a car for free. In 2018, I’d reached the end of my rope. Our vehicle was held together by duct tape and prayer, and we were told that it needed an expensive $5,000 repair. I didn’t know what we were going to do!

Fortunately, someone told me about the Progressive Keys to Progress vehicle giveaway. My husband is a disabled veteran, so I knew we qualified. I was so excited to apply – and even more excited when I received a call from the organization, asking if we could accept a 5-seat vehicle. Unfortunately, we have five kids and couldn’t make such a small vehicle work for our family so we passed it on to another veteran in need… but it was so exciting to know that we technically won a free car, even if we couldn’t keep it!

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If you stick around to the end of this post, I’ll also reveal a few tips that helped us win that free car. Hopefully, you can use these tips to win your own car for free as well!

Why are free cars important?

Obviously, transportation is necessary for low income families to get to work, school, doctor’s appointments and more. Life without a working vehicle can be very difficult, especially in rural areas or areas without reliable public transportation.

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Many organizations have recognized this hardship, and that’s why they provide free cars to low income families who need them.

free cars for low income families

5 Nationwide Programs that Provide Free Cars for Low Income Families

There are many legitimate organizations that offer free cars for low income families. All of these programs have specific and unique requirements, so you may not qualify for all of them.

Here are the ones that we’ve personally verified.

Progressive Keys to Progress Giveaway

Every year, Progressive gives away about 100 cars to veterans in need. This is the one that we won in 2017! We’ll give you all the information and show you how we wrote our winning application here.

1-800-Charity-Cars

Since 1996, Charity Cars has been encourage people to donate cars to the organization so the organization can then donate cars to families in need. As America’s #1 car donation charity, Charity Cars has been featured on Oprah, Good Morning America and other major outlets. They are especially known for providing free cars for disabled veterans, victims of domestic violence, families living in shelters and victims of natural disasters.

To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • United States resident
  • Age 18+
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • At or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level ($48,600 for a family of 4 in 2016)
  • No sustainable transportation

In order to receive a car, you will need to have access to a computer and internet service. You’ll need to be able to sign up and create an account at www.freecharitycars.org. You’ll complete an application, generate votes to move up the waiting list and remain access on the site.

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Working Cars for Working Families

Many organizations that focus on getting free cars to those in need have formed a coalition at workingcarsforworkingfamilies.org. Use their nifty Find a Program tool to find agencies that provide free cars, low cost auto repair or low income auto loans in your area.

A search in the Portland, Oregon, area directs users to contact Ways to Work Inc. at (503) 688-1785 for help obtaining a reliable vehicle. According to the Ways to Work website, “The ability to access affordable loans to purchase, repair, or refinance a car can be life-changing for working parents.  As part of the national Ways to Work program, we’re getting parents on the road when they need it most.”

Ways to Work

When you rely on a vehicle to get to work, losing your transportation can be an absolute disaster. Ways to Work doesn’t provide free cars but they do provide small, low interest loans to qualifying low-income applicants. Loans will be for no longer than 30 months and no more than 8% interest.

To qualify, you must reside in a service area and meet the following criteria:

  • 6 months of continuous employment OR enrolled in a post-high school education program
  • Be an involved parent of dependent child(ren)
  • Unable to obtain conventional loan resources
  • Have enough disposable income to make payments
  • Have a household income that is 80% or less than the area’s median income

To apply, you will need to visit a local loan office. Loan offices are available in 13 states. Click here to find one near you!

Local Programs that Provide Free Cars

Of course, there are many local organizations and programs that help low income families get a car for free as well.

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Virginia

We’ve found programs that offer free cars in Virginia!

United Methodist Car Ministry (Northern Virginia only)

The United Methodist Church operates a Car Ministry for the poor, the needy and full time ministry workers. They have provided thousands of vehicles since their founding in 1984. On average, they donate 50-150 vehicles per year.

All vehicles must run well and pass Virginia safety and emission standards before they are given to low income families. The Car Ministry recognizes that providing faulty vehicles that need repair could cause more problems that it would solve, so they are very careful to maintain the quality of their vehicles.

In order to receive a free car from United Methodist Car Ministry, you will need to be referred by a social worker or pastor. You will also need to complete this application.

Save Money & Get Free Stuff

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Have too much month at the end of your money? Me too - and that's how Low Income Relief got started. I have over 20 years of professional research and writing experience. Over the years, I've worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. My work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, eHow.com, Livestrong.com, Legal Beagle, The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah), The Chronicle (Centralia, WA) and others. At Low Income Relief, I use my professional research and reporting experience to help low income families save money and make ends meet. It's been my full-time job since 2016, and it's truly an honor to serve you.

K.vidrio

Thursday 21st of April 2022

My daughter is a Registered Victim of Sex abuse,a single mother of a special needs child.She has 1 struggle after another.Shes been outta work since covid,and just recently found a Job! Then...her car broke down! Timing chain,major job. She desperately needs car repair assistance,or new car.Please,can she get ANY help?!

Isaac

Tuesday 26th of April 2022

Information on this should be in the article above. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help! https://lowincomerelief.com/chat/

Josh Barnett

Wednesday 20th of April 2022

Hello this is the first time I've ever had to ask for help my whole entire family passed away last year and left me homeless and vehicles living in a tent with my dog in Jackson California and I'm really struggling to eat and keep food in my dog's belly too I lost my job due to the fact I lost all of my belongings and my vehicle that were taken by my aunt and uncle and sold without my knowledge or without giving me any of the money for my belongings that they sold is there any free vehicles or donated vehicles that I could possibly and or any way I could get a place to live and a job please time my phone is also going to be going to ssactive tomorrow due to the fact I don't have money to pay for the service is there anything that I could do to it get cell phone service I mean I can't even get to the Social Services place because I don't have money to ride the bus please help my name is Josh Barnett my cell phone number is --- --- ---- and my dogs name is buddy

Isaac

Tuesday 26th of April 2022

Low Income Relief is an information service and does not provide cash or items directly. You will need to search our website for information about organizations that can help you meet those needs. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help! https://lowincomerelief.com/chat/

Brenda Stewart

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

Hi I'm brenda and I'm on disability I lost my car in a accident that happened in 2007 an I haven't been able to afford a ride for paying all the other bills trying to catch up don't have transportation to get where I need to go

Isaac

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

Low Income Relief is an information service and does not provide cash or items directly. You will need to search our website for information about organizations that can help you meet those needs. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help! https://lowincomerelief.com/chat/

Kit

Sunday 10th of April 2022

Hi. I am disabled and live in a cargo van and get SSDI. The expense to register the van is astronomical verses a car. Is there a program in AZ that could help with this. The info you supplied on the website is pretty amazing a d did you know bags of Ice are coveted under snap benefits too. I just googled one day and tried it for myself and it worked. Thanks

Isaac

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

Information on this should be in the article above. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help! https://lowincomerelief.com/chat/

Thanks for letting us know! I’m glad we were able to help.

Sheila Wells

Monday 28th of March 2022

I am on disability looking for free car repair which is only need a new battery. My car has been sitting out here for almost a year. My tags are due, licenced expired, my daughter was paying my insurance until Covid hit she got layed off. All my car is illegal to drive at the same everything expired. I am just grateful that Heb deliveries groceries and my meds. But that cost tip money,shopper fees.my Dr.does virtual appointments. I live in Texas I am looking for help for car help. Thanks

Isaac

Thursday 31st of March 2022

Low Income Relief is an information service and does not provide cash or items directly. You will need to search our website for information about organizations that can help you meet those needs. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help! https://lowincomerelief.com/chat/