Wow! That's an awfully expensive item to request a donation of; this will cost the car dealership thousands of dollars (they do not get vehicles for free; they have to buy them, and the profit margin on a new vehicle is in the hundreds, not thousands of dollars). Getting a dealership, especially with the tough times the auto industry has been having in the last couple of years, to essentially donate a new vehicle might be a very tough thing to do. Most dealerships don't even give company cars to their employees to use because of the cost involved.
If you want a vehicle to auction for your school, you would probably have a much better chance of getting a new or a used car dealer who is sympathetic to your cause to donate a 10 year old used vehicle in fair condition. Often these types of cars are obtained as trade-ins, and although they do have some value it is not very much in the price guides which limits resale price, and also makes it more difficult to obtain bank financing for their customers for these vehicles.
Pointing out to any prospective dealers that might be willing to donate that they can take a tax deduction for the value of the vehicle they donate to the school , as well as pointing out that they will receive a lot of great advertising publicity through the auction that they could not otherwise buy at any price might be helpful. Take a survey among your co-workers at the school, and see how many will make it a point to shop for their next vehicle at whatever dealership donates a vehicle; this may help sell the idea. One future sale may be enough to recoup the value of the donation, in addition to getting a tax deduction for it.
Having a contact at a dealership to help you pitch the idea to the management is also very helpful; ask around among your friends and co-workers to see how many of them have friends or relatives working in the local dealerships; you might be amazed at how many you find.
Another source to consider for such a donation might be local repair shops (who sometimes get title to vehicles that a customer does not want given to them or know someone who has such a vehicle that they do not need and who might be willing to doante it to the school for a tax write-off).
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