In addition to work experience and a pleasing personality, most companies prefer to hire individuals with their vehicles. Similarly, people who own cars have a higher chance of getting employed. In 2016, 30% of civilian jobs required the daily operation of a passenger or other vehicle.
Driving a passenger car, such as a van, automobile, or bus, was necessary for at least 20.8% of well-paying jobs. However, with rising car prices, only some American adults can buy one. This comprises their ability to obtain employment and earn a living wage.
For low-income families and individuals looking for work, car grants and car donation programs are administered by the government and non-profit organizations. You can learn more about car donation programs, such as the Goodwill free cars, by reading the article below.
What Makes New Cars Expensive
Statistical data from Kelley Blue Book shows that the average price of a new car in 2020 was $39,000, but by this year, it is over $48,000. Additionally, the cost of new vans and passenger cars had been relatively stable from 2008 to 2021 but had a sudden increase of 11.4% last year. Prices for second-hand automobiles also grew by 7.1%.
Shortages Of Car Parts
Car price increases are primarily the result of auto component shortages, particularly a scarcity of microchips. Domestic chip production funding must be increased to lower the costs of new, modern cars. There isn't a need to be more affordable brand-new automobiles, trucks, or vans because of the shortage of computer system chips.
Increased Car Loan Rates
To combat soaring inflation rates, the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by unprecedented percentage points for the past ten months. A spike in interest rates affects the auto industry by increasing monthly payments on car loans.
For instance, the 2022 Honda Pilot, a popular car among American workers, is priced at $39,375 before taxes, downpayment, and other fees. However, a 1% fed rate increase may translate to an additional interest payment of $800 per month.
Who Are Eligible To Receive A Free Car?
Free car programs often have different eligibility requirements. However, most car donation programs cater to one or more groups.
- Low-income families
- Senior citizens
- Veterans and their dependents
- Homeless individuals
- Domestic abuse survivors
- Natural calamity victims
- Single parents
- People with disabilities and permanent injuries
How Does The Goodwill Free Cars Work?
Goodwill administers free car programs, such as the Wheels for Work program, to low-income families, people with disabilities, single parents, and college students to help them find jobs and earn a living wage.
Like the Salvation Army, the organization dedicates its resources and humanitarian efforts toward helping financially struggling individuals. They offer other assistance programs and services to the poor and needy, including the following:
- Housing and rent assistance
- Emergency rental services
- Auto repair services
- Car loans and grants
- Utility and electrical bill assistance
- Housing and temporary shelter programs
- Free food and groceries
- Free clothing
About their transportation assistance and free car programs, they give away second-hand cars to qualified applicants and free bus cards, gasoline vouchers, and public transport tokens. Moreover, they also offer car deals that include affordable, interest-free monthly payments. Purchasing a used car from Goodwill auto shops is also a great way to improve your credit score.
How To Qualify For A Free Car From Goodwill
To be eligible for a free used vehicle from Goodwill, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Must be a U.S. citizen residing within the country;
- Have no felony records or drug offenses;
- Must possess a clean driving record;
- Proof of residence;
- Valid driver's license;
- Proof of employment;
- Must not own a car registered under their name;
- A copy of a recent W-2 or a payroll stub as proof of income;
- A document justifying the need for a used vehicle;
- Must have an annual gross income not exceeding the federal poverty level;
- Must remain employed for at least a year after receiving the donated vehicle;
States With Goodwill Free Cars Program
Despite this program's benefits to qualified applicants, Goodwill only administers their free car program in some 50 states. We recommend contacting the nearest Goodwill office to ask whether the program is available in your area. Below are some of the locations that administer the free car program.
Florida: Goodwill Auto Sales & Vehicle Donation Center
3333 Fowler Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901
New York: Wheels For Work Oneonta
3 West Broadway
Oneonta, New York 13820
Northern Michigan: Goodwill Industries
217 Hamblin Ave W
Battle Creek, MI 49037
2279 South Airport Road West
Traverse City, MI 49684
1-877-448-3449 ext. 218
If your area of residence needs to provide Goodwill transportation assistance and auto repairs, read this Gov Relations article on other car repair grants to check out.