Get free cars and automobiles from Opportunity Cars.

Over 150 charities, non profit agencies, churches, and government organizations have joined together to form a program known as Opportunity Cars. The charity program helps people in need by offering free or discounted cars, low interest loans so people can buy a car, or they help people save for a car by providing matching grants.

The primary goal of Opportunity Cars is to increase the level of private automobile ownership for low income, working families. The automobiles provided are meant to help people find and keep quality jobs, so the car needs to be used for work related activities. These free and discounted car programs promote both job security and economic well being by distributing the cars directly to families, providing very low-interest loans that are to be used for car purchases, and they will also facilitate matched savings that are to be used for car down payments and purchases of automobiles.

These programs were created in the mid 1990s. While they do use a number of different approaches for increasing the level of car ownership, the programs will also generally help lower wage families and individuals acquire reliable used vehicles, such as cars, trucks, and vans. The programs want to reduce transportation-related barriers to someone so they can find a job or keep the work they currently have, and they also want to improve overall mobility for low income families.

Opportunity Cars can address the lack of transportation. But it is also costly to run and maintain an automobile. Therefore there is additional assistance available. As one example, locate other organizations that provide free gasoline.

How do free car programs work?

There are a few different ways that the car ownership programs operate across the country. Typically they use one of the following three approaches in try to help people obtain transportation.

 

 

 

 

  • The organization will obtain reliable used cars from donations and other means. They will then either sell for a low price or give the car away, for free, to program recipients.
     
  • The group will assist potential automobile recipients and help them save for a car. They will support and help them to save for the purchase, and a key being the program will match their savings with funds from other sources. So if a person saves $500, the group will match some or all of that $500.
  • Applicants to the program can receive a low interest rate and/or subsidized loans. This is also available for people with poor credit. The loan is to be used for a car purchase.
     
  • Opportunity Cars will try to provide support to individuals on public assistance, including TANF cash welfare, food stamps, section 8, or other housing benefits.

As noted above, each charity, non-profit program and church that is part of Opportunity Cars may employ slightly different strategies to meet the goal of car ownership, but the bottom line is that each organization is focused on the goal of helping to increase car ownership. The goal is to really help people get and keep a job.

Additional services from Opportunity Cars for ownership

In addition to the free or discounted cars and loans that are provided, these assistance programs may also provide other valuable services that lead to successful car ownership. The reason this is part of the program is it can cost hundreds or thousands of of dollars per year to keep the auto operations. Opportunity Cars works to address this need as well.

For example, a person in the program can get assistance with car repairs and insurance, financial literacy training, driver's licenses, and also referrals to comprehensive service providers. There may also be support around credit counseling and help with debts or auto loans. Or if they did have to borrow money from a lender associated with Opportunity Cars, there is assistance around financing too. For example, find how to get help with car payments.

 

 

 

 

To apply for, get more information or find a low cost or free car, it is recommended to call the United Way at 211. If the program exists in your town, city, or county they will have information on it. Ot visit www.opportunitycars.com to locate an agency near you. Or contact local non-profits and community action agencies in your county to ask about programs that may be able to provide transportation, or even car repairs.

 

By Jon McNamara

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