For many people, having a car is just a normal part of their life. They drive it to work, they drive it to school, they use it to go shopping, etc.
However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have the means to buy a car.
If you fall into this category, then there still might be a way for you to get a car for free. You may think that this is impossible, but it is actually not. There are a number of ways in which qualifying people can get cars for free.
The Importance of Having a Vehicle
Without having a reliable vehicle, it can be very difficult for many people to hold down a job. This is especially true for people who do not live close to bus lines, subways, or some other form of public transportation.
Vehicles provide a certain sense of freedom and independence that is very difficult to replicate. Not owning a vehicle can put a person very far behind professionally, socially, and even psychologically.
Many employers will not even hire people unless they have a vehicle that they can use to reliably commute to work with.
Why Cars are Difficult to Buy
Cars are difficult to buy because they are often extremely expensive. New cars often cost tens of thousands of dollars. You can save money by buying used cars, but even a good used car can easily cost thousands of dollars.
Further, buying a car typically requires going to the car lots and inspecting the car, test driving it, comparing it to other cars at other lots, etc.
Going back and forth from dealership to dealership can be very difficult if you do not have a car in the first place.
Also, if you are struggling financially, then the chances are that you will not be able to buy a car with cash. This means that you will need a loan.
If you are in a difficult financial situation, then it may be nearly impossible for you to get an auto loan. This is especially true if you are unemployed and have bad credit.
If you cannot afford to buy a car either with cash or with a loan, then the first place you should check to see if you can get a free car is your local religious organizations. This includes churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and any other religious organizations in your area.
Most religious organizations serve the purpose of helping humanity. They often have fundraisers and receive donations from people in the community. Sometimes these donations come in the form of cars.
Also, many religious organizations are in contact with auto dealers who may have an extra car or two that they can’t sell and don’t want any more.
So, if you call your local church or temple, and explain your situation to them, then they might be able to provide you with a car. However, they will be unlikely to help you unless you genuinely need the help.
So, if you have a stable job or are not in a disadvantaged situation, then there is a lower chance that they will help you. But if you don’t have a stable job and are in a bad financial circumstance, then they may be willing to help you.
Even if they don’t have a car on hand at the moment, they might be able to track one down for you.
Just like religious organizations, charities are primarily focused on helping people. This means that they will be motivated to help you.
Sometimes, people give old cars to charities because they believe that someone may be in need of a car. So, you can call your local charities and see if they have any cars available.
There are a number of charities that specifically work to help provide free cars to people. These charities include Free Charity Cars, 1-800 Charity Cars, and others.
You should call the charities that specialize in cars first to see if they have anything available in your area. If not, then you should move on to other local charities that may offer cars.
You can easily find charities in your area by doing a quick Google search. Simply select the charities that you think will be most likely to offer free cars and work your way down the line. You may be able to find a solid free car from one of these charities.
Also, even if they do not have a car available right away, they may be able to help track one down for you within a reasonable amount of time.
Many people give cars to charities to get the tax write-off. So, this is another reason why charities often have cars available to give to people in need.
The Goodwill is another great place to look for free cars. Like with local charities, many people just end up giving their cars to the Goodwill when they no longer want them and when they feel like doing something good for humanity.
Of course, the tax write-offs also help to incentivize people to donate their cars. However, regardless of a person’s reason for giving their car to the Goodwill, many people do.
In fact, if you call your local Goodwill center, then there is a chance that they might have a vehicle available right now that they would be happy to give to you.
If you are in need of a car, then it is definitely worth your time to either call your local Goodwill center, or go down there to speak to someone about possibly getting a free car from them.
The government has a number of welfare programs that help to provide free cars for people in need. Many of these programs focus around single mothers, veterans, the medically needy, families living in transitional shelters, victims of domestic violence, and victims of natural disasters.
Many of these organizations will require you to fill out an application. However, they usually do not check your credit since they will be giving you a car for free.
When it comes to obtaining a free car from a welfare organization, being disadvantaged in some way will most likely actually help your chances. This is because welfare organizations are designed to help people in need.
You should do a Google search of all of the local welfare programs near you and just start reaching out to them to see if any of them will be able to help you get a car. There is a very good chance that at least one of them will be able to help you.
Nonprofit programs are another good place to seek out free cars. The reason is because like religious organizations, charities, and welfare programs, they too want to help people.
Also, many nonprofits have connections with corporations such as auto-dealers who occasionally will give free cars to the nonprofit.
Like with many other types of organizations, you may be required to fill out an application which will provide the nonprofit with information about your current situation. Only expect to qualify for a free car if you are in a situation where you truly have need for a free car.
Nonprofit organizations typically do not give free cars to people who are healthy and who are making a decent amount of money. So, be aware of that going in.
Other Good Options
The options listed above are the best ways to get a free car. So, you should try all of those first. However, if you cannot get a free car from any of those places, then there are some things you can do to obtain a car for a very low rate, or to obtain creative financing for your car.
Here is a breakdown of those choices.
Uber and Lyft Partnerships
Both Uber and Lyft have partnered with various car rental companies to provide low weekly rental rates for their drivers.
So, if you need both a car and a job, then you can rent a car through one of Uber or Lyft’s partners. These rental fees are typically between $100-$200 a week. However, you can make a lot more than that if you do a good amount of driving.
General Motors, Hertz, and Enterprise have all partnered with either Uber or Lyft to make it possible for people to obtain vehicles cheaply that they can use for ridesharing.
So, if you are willing to do some driving work to cover the cost of the weekly rental fee, then these options could be good for you.
If you use this strategy to get a car, then you could just do it temporarily and make enough money to buy your own car. If you drive for Uber or Lyft for a few weeks or months, then you might be able to save the money that you need to buy your own car.
In some cases, you can get a decent used car for under $1,000. This could be a very good strategy for you to buy a car on your own.
There are companies out there who will pay you a certain amount of money per month to turn your car into a moving advertisement.
For example, one company, Free Car Media, matches businesses with car drivers. Car drivers can get paid up to $400 a month just by driving their car around, displaying an advertisement for a business.
These advertisements typically come in the form of vinyl decals which are wrapped around the outside of the car.
However, there are also ads that just go on the windows.
These types of advertising situations are win-wins for the company and for the driver. This is because the driver gets a steady stream of cash and because the company gets to have a moving billboard on the road all the time.
The only downside of this approach is that you will have to buy a car first yourself. However, you could use the money from the ads to finance the payments. So, if you can get a cheap car, then you can use the advertising money to pay it off in a few months.
This is not the best option for people who are completely desperate and have no money.
But, this is a good option for people who might be able to afford a cheaper car on their own and who just want to find a way to finance it.
The best part about this approach is that after you pay off the car, you just have a steady cash flow of a couple hundred dollars a month.
You can use this cash flow to help pay for part of your rent, your groceries, or any other expenses that you might have.
Crowdfunding is another way to possibly get a car for free. With crowdfunding, you create an account on a site like GoFundMe.com.
Then you write a bio, explaining who you are and why you desperately need a car. After that, you can share your bio on your social media channels to try to get your friends and family to help contribute to your car.
The upside of taking this approach is that people who feel badly for you may actually contribute to your car purchase.
The downside is that it can be tough on the pride to do something like this. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. If you literally have no other way of obtaining a car, then this may be your last resort.
Who knows you may be just able to raise a couple thousand dollars taking this approach.
If you’ve never heard of “marginless inventory,” it is the inventory that car dealerships have that they cannot make any money on.
Car dealerships make money on the vast majority of their cars. However, occasionally, a car will get damaged in some way and they will not be able to turn a profit on the car.
The reason is because the costs associated with fixing the vehicle will be larger than the amount of money that they will receive through its sale.
When this happens, the car becomes a part of the dealership’s “marginless inventory.”
Oftentimes, dealers who have marginless inventory will simply give it away to charities or to people who come looking for it.
So, if you are savvy, you might be able to get a free car by going around to your local auto dealerships and asking them if they have any marginless inventory.
Some of them just might have exactly what you are looking for. It is wise to wait for a major storm to occur to go and ask the dealerships.
The reason is because hurricanes. tornados, hailstorms, and other major weather events often cause significant damage to vehicles that are sitting in auto dealership lots. So, if you approach dealerships right after a major storm occurs, then that will give you the best chances of success.
Reach Out to Auto Mechanics
Auto mechanics are constantly working on cars. They frequently have to make decisions about whether or not a car is worthwhile to fix.
If you have a disability or have another difficult circumstance occurring in your life that makes it difficult for you to obtain a car on your own, then an auto mechanic may be able to give you a free car.
This is because sometimes cars come into the shop that end up just going to the junkyard. So, you may be able to get the mechanic to give you the car for free instead of sending it to the junkyard.
If the mechanic has the time, he or she may take pity on you and fix the issue for free.
This is one of the more difficult options for getting a car for free. However, if everything else has failed, then it is still worth your while.
A lot of mechanics know each other too, and they may know who has an extra car lying around that isn’t getting fixed and might be scheduled to be sent to the junkyard.
So, they might be able to point you in the right direction, even if they cannot provide you with a car themselves.
Get a Job That Provides a Company Car
Many companies provide company cars. If you do not have a car or a job, then you can specifically look for jobs that provide company vehicles.
This method of obtaining a car is not necessarily “free” because you will have to work for the company to get the car. However, you will still be able to get a car without having to buy it outright or get a loan for it.
The upside of this method is that a lot of companies provide their employees with high quality cars.
The downside is that the companies will usually take the cars back if you stop working for them.
You can specifically search for companies that provide company vehicles on job board sites such as Indeed.com
Make a Trade
If you have something else that is valuable besides a car, then you may be able to trade it for a car. Again, this would not necessarily be getting a car free per se, but it could still be a lot better than buying it with cash or taking a loan out to get it.
So, you should scan your home for things that may have enough value for you to be able to trade them for a car.
Things like musical instruments, furniture, sterling silver sets, jewelry, etc., could all possibly be valuable enough to trade for a car.
You should look for items that are worth at least $500-$1000. This is because it will be very difficult to find a working car that will pass inspection for less than that.
The good news about making trades for vehicles is that there is a potentially large amount of people who might be open to trading with you.
Sites such as Craigslist.com are filled with people listing their vehicles for sale. You could find some people who are listing cheap vehicles on this site and message them offering to trade them for your belongings.
If your items are appealing enough to the people, then they might just be willing to make a trade with you.
When All Else Fails
If all else fails, then you may just have to take out a loan to purchase your vehicle. Depending on what your credit situation is and what your job situation is, you might have the option to get a loan from your bank or from a different financial institution.
If you think that you have a decent chance of getting an auto loan approved, then you can try to go this route.
However, if you can’t get a loan this way, then there are still some other options for getting a loan. For example, you can try peer-to-peer lending platforms such as Prosper.com.
There are many people on peer-to-peer lending platforms who are willing to give loans to people whom the bank will not give loans to.
If you have a friend or a family member who has some extra cash, then you can try to get a loan from them too. You could even offer to pay them interest on the loan.
However, if you are planning on getting a loan from anyone to finance your car purchase, then you definitely need to make sure that you have a plan for how you will repay that loan.
Otherwise, you could run the risk of defaulting on the loan and getting the car repossessed. This would be a very bad situation and could ending up seriously hurting your credit score.
So, only take out a car loan if you know how you are going to pay it back. If you do take out a loan, do not go overboard. There is no need to take out a ten thousand dollar loan when you can take out a $1,500 loan and buy a car for $1,500.