This year is the 10th anniversary of Cool Davis! We submitted our incorporation papers on June 14, four days after the completion of the City’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, which is now in the process of an update. We plan to celebrate! Read our Earth Day 2020 post for details about our plans to celebrate the past and look forward into a brighter future.

We are also planning a fundraising campaign to help take our organization to the next level.

Cool Davis operates as a non-profit entity with support from the City of Davis, community organizations, businesses, and foundations. We also rely on individual donations from generous and concerned members of our community. Every year we participate in Big Day of Giving on the first week in May and Giving Tuesday as part of our annual appeal in December.

This year Big Day of Giving is May 7. Since its inception, thousands of donors have helped over 600 local nonprofits raise $40 million, our region’s annual 24-hour giving day. Want a reminder to give? Sign up to receive an email or text reminder. It’s never too early to include Cool Davis in your giving plan.

Ready to donate your car now? Visit the CARS donation page

Support our transportation campaigns with car donations

Cool Davis also accept donations of used cars (ideally, internal combustion engine cars sometimes called ICE). Cool Davis is partnered with the non-profit vehicle donation organization with the name “CARS”, which will pick up your old or unused car and donate the net proceeds to us after their costs are covered.

We see this as a great way to double the benefits of transitioning away from a dirty internal combustion engine vehicle, or ICE, and getting yourself into a clean electric vehicle. We use these funds to support our electric vehicle education and active transportation programs.

Ready to donate your car now? Visit the CARS donation page.

What are the benefits of donating my vehicle to Cool Davis?

  • You can direct the value of your old fossil fuel-based vehicle to support Cool Davis electric vehicle education and active transportation programs.
  • You may reduce your taxable income when taxes are itemized
  • You can avoid the costs associated with selling your car such as advertising
  • There is no loss of privacy or possible security risk
  • You will no longer need to pay for insurance or car repairs to keep your car in running condition
  • In some circumstances, vehicle registration isn’t required

What types of vehicles are accepted?

CARS accepts most cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RV’s, motorcycles, off road vehicles, heavy equipment and other motorized vehicles.

Does my car have to be running to donate it?

CARS can take your vehicle running or not. However, it must be in one piece, have an engine, and be towable. Contact a CARS representative at 855-500-RIDE (7433) to find out if your vehicle qualifies for pick-up.

How quickly can I get my vehicle picked up?

You will be contacted within 24 hours to start the donation process. Once the donation record has been created and completed, CARS will reach out to you within 2 to 3 business days to schedule your pick-up. If you need your vehicle picked up sooner, please call CARS toll-free at 855-500-RIDE (7433) as they may be able to make those arrangements.

Do I need a smog certificate to donate my car?

For states that require smog certificates or safety inspections, you may donate your vehicle without these documents.

Do I need the title to donate my vehicle?

Yes, you will need the title to the vehicle. If you do not have it, it is possible that other arrangements can be made. You can call CARS toll-free at 855-500-RIDE (7433) seven days a week for more information.

This is how it works:

  1. Start at the CARS online donation portal.
  2. Schedule the vehicle pick up with CARS. In some areas, CARS has the ability to schedule the vehicle for pick up during your initial call. In all other cases, CARS will contact you within 2-3 business days to set a convenient appointment time for pick up. If you need your vehicle picked up sooner, please call CARS toll-free at 855-500-RIDE (855-500-7433) as they may be able to make those arrangements. The vehicle will be picked up by a licensed tow company at no cost to you and will be taken to a CARS sale location.
  3. The donated vehicle is sold. CARS has sales locations where they evaluate each vehicle. When it is cost-effective, CARS makes major and/or minor mechanical repairs. CARS uses auction houses to sell the majority of vehicles. On occasion, CARS may use other means to sell the vehicle. The CARS goal is to ensure that our organization receives the maximum amount of money for each vehicle donation.
  4. CARS provides all necessary tax ceduction receipts and forms. Within 30 days of the sale of the donated vehicle, you will receive a thank you letter which you may use as a tax receipt. This may be your only receipt from CARS if your vehicle sells for $500 or less. If your donated vehicle sells for more than $500, CARS will mail you an additional receipt known as “IRS Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes” if your tax identification number was provided.
  5. Cool Davis sends you a Thank You. We are super appreciative! This thank you will also include CARS donation information for your tax records, in particular, the donated amount.

Some caveats from Cool Davis gained through our experience with the program and donating cars generally:

  • The tow truck driver may not have a receipt for you and generally will not be able to answer questions about the process.
  • The proceeds from an auction will generally be less than private sales or even dealer buyback amounts.
  • Just as with any other vehicle transfer, you must file a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability form with the CA DMV once you have made your donation, so you are not mistakenly held responsible for registration or any other future costs associated with the vehicle.



Cool Davis wholeheartedly support donors who are willing to sell their cars as a private party, then simply make a cash donation to us with the proceeds. Visit our Donate page or send a check in the mail:

Cool Davis Foundation

P.O. Box 4013

Davis CA 95617

If you would prefer to simply make a phone call and simplify the process, we recommend the CARS route.

Download this info in PDF form for easy reference in the future!

What next?

Ready for your electric vehicle now? Visit our Drive Electric page for tons of super resources! Incentives are available for both new and used vehicles!

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