How to Get a Free or Cheap Car for Single Moms

Updated on: by Amy Kennedy

free cheap carsSingle moms have the weight of the world on their shoulders.

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They have to take the kids to school, pick them up, feed them, help them with homework, make sure they are able to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible, ensure they get the sleep they need, and on and on the list goes.

Even if there is strong support system or co-parenting agreement, the brunt falls on the single mom’s back.

Why Cars Matter

Without a working, reliable car, much of this becomes nearly impossible.  There is no way to the grocery store.

There is no way to pick up a sick child at school.  Perhaps the most devastating, there is no way to work.

While public transportation is available for some, there are many areas that do not have a public transportation system.

In addition, it is difficult to handle children and maneuver public transit systems at the same time.  The alternative options become either to stay home, or pay money that may not be available for a taxi service.

What Can be Done?

There are ways for single moms to get a free or cheap car however.  Programs are available that realize the need, and work hard to put these hardworking moms in reliable vehicles to lessen the load and help them take steps to get their family into a better position.

Where to Start

Working Cars for Working Families

If you are a single mom trying to figure out how to get a free car for single moms, this should be your first stop.  The site offers a searchable database of programs by area.

Programs include those that offer free cars, as well as those that help moms find cheap cars or low-interest loans and grants that can be used on transportation.

Each program varies, as does the number of programs in any given area.  There may be a way to apply for a truly free car, or the options may be limited to guaranteed loans with low interest rates.

A quick search can help you find what is available for you.

Read more:

Examples of Charity Cars Programs

This is perhaps one of the most popular sites for finding free cars if you are in need.  It is easy to get started.  All you do is create a free account and share your story.  The story is made public on the site, and participants work to promote their story.

The goal in promoting the story is to get votes from those visiting the site.  The more votes your story has, the higher you move up on the waiting list.

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When a car is donated, the list of applicants in the area where the car is available is reviewed, and a recipients is selected based on votes and individual situation and need.  Friends and family can vote for you!

This program is currently only available in Chicago and the surrounding areas, but they are accepting requests for new chapters on their website.  While they do offer cars free of charge, this is not a giveaway.

Eligible applicants are required to make a two year commitment to the program in exchange for the vehicle.

Programs participants take part in a variety of activities that can help better themselves and the lives of their families.  These may include job training and counseling, among other things.

The Vehicles for Change program is available in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, but it is an excellent example of the types of programs available in various parts of the country.  Since 1999 they have helped provide 5,190 cars for low-income families.

Cars received in this program cost the family around $750, and they come with a low-interest guaranteed loan.

Wheels4Hope repairs donated vehicles to sell as program cars to recipients.  They also offer these cars for sale to the general public as a way to cover program costs.  The cars offered to program participants are valued at $2,000 to $4,000 dollars.

Recipients pay $500 and cover the cost of title and transfer fees.  Wheels4Hope offers a 6-month warranty.

Good News Garage is an organization that provides donated vehicles to individuals and families in need, including single moms.

They accept vehicle donations from the public, which are repaired and distributed to eligible recipients.

Single moms can apply for a free or cheap car through this program, helping them overcome transportation challenges and improve their mobility.

Good News Garage understands the specific needs of single moms and aims to support them in gaining access to reliable transportation, enhancing their ability to take care of their children, find employment, and pursue other opportunities.

While Vehicles for Veterans primarily focuses on assisting military veterans, single moms who have served in the armed forces can also benefit from this program.

By partnering with organizations and individuals who donate vehicles, Vehicles for Veterans provides free cars, trucks, and other vehicles to eligible veterans, including single moms.

This opportunity enables single moms to secure a free or affordable vehicle, helping them navigate their daily responsibilities such as taking their children to school, running errands, and accessing employment opportunities.

1-800-Charity Cars is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals and families in need, including single moms, acquire free or low-cost vehicles.

Through their vehicle donation program, they accept donated cars and distribute them to deserving recipients.

Single moms facing financial hardship can apply for assistance through 1-800-Charity Cars, providing them with the opportunity to obtain a free or affordable car.

This support allows single moms to overcome transportation barriers, ensuring they can fulfill their parental duties, access education and job opportunities, and improve their overall quality of life.

Other Options: Automobile Grants and Loans

Other options include local community and state grant or loan programs.  A local community services agency can help you find these types of programs.

Many offer grants to single moms that can be used to purchase reliable transportation, and others offer low-interest loans with a guarantee that allows for financing even with bad credit.

Am I Eligible for a Free Car, Grant, or Loan?

While the eligibility requirements for individual programs vary, there are many that are standard throughout these types of programs. These include but are not limited to:

  • Verifiable job or job offer
  • Ability to pay for insurance and continuing maintenance
  • Eligible for a driver’s license
  • Drug free
  • No extensive criminal background
  • No other vehicle
  • Accepting other state benefits is okay and sometimes required (such as WIC or food stamps)
  • Meets income guidelines set forth by specific program
  • Except for, most programs require application through a caseworker at a partner agency. These may include religious organizations, non-profits, or community services agencies.

In today’s society, having access to reliable transportation is essential to living a productive, successful life.  That is not to say it is not possible to do these things without a car, but having a car makes it much easier and much more likely a single mom will be able to provide a better life for her children.

If for no other reason than the ability to actually get to work, this is a hard truth.  In addition, owning a car opens up many more opportunities for both parent and child.

Parents can accept better jobs that pay more, even if they are further away.

Children have a better chance of being allowed to participate in extracurricular activities because their moms are better able to transport them to and from these activities.

If you are a single mom looking for a free or cheap car to help you get back on your feet and offer your children and yourself more and better opportunities, these resources can be a great help.

A quick note though: beware of scams.  Thoroughly research all offers, and always work through a certified agency if possible.

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Nancy Jenkins

June 20, 2017 at 2:20 pm

I am a single divorced woman . I am in need of a car to get back and forth to a job. I’ve just fell on hard times after the divorce.


July 31, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Im a single pregnant mom with two small children already .. Im looking a donated car.. Not sure how to get one.. I know i cant afford one..

Brittany Helms

August 2, 2017 at 11:23 am

Help plz 2 boys divorced just can’t do it


August 12, 2017 at 6:32 am

I am a single mom of a toddler and pregnant (15 weeks) I am in a abusive relationship and I want out but I don’t have a car and I really need a car to be able to work and get a decent job or even take my son to a babysitter.I don’t know what to do I need guidance.Im still legally married and my husband keeps telling me once he leaves the house I can no longer get transportation and I don’t want to depend on him.He thinks he can manipulate me because I have nowhere to go and no money.Please help!!!

Lucia Teixeira

August 21, 2017 at 5:55 am

I am mother of 2 kids I am still married but separate men I married who fight for this country now is retired air force call himselve proud veteran. No .I come domestic violence from him hit 2 times front my kids . I am glad I am wy from him . Live is difficult. My car broke I can’t afford to fix it . I am stuck in house whit litle no food .I need help .

latoya banks

October 3, 2017 at 6:41 pm

Hi im a single mother of 4. 3 girls and 1 boy ages 8 6 4 and 1 1/2 and im asking for help. I had to drop out of school and lost my job all in one day because my car stopped running every since then I’ve been struggling to make ends meet I’ve been homless staying house to house and all im asking is for help nothing more.

Samantha Marzke

October 28, 2017 at 8:34 pm

I am a single mother of a soon to be 2 year old and a 6 month old. I’m going through a divorce and don’t get child support. The only assistance I get is WIC and FoodStamps. I’m currently live at home with my parents again while going through my divorce and don’t have a vehicle. I don’t start working until November 13th, 2017 but, have no transportation. Please help!!

Stephanie Brown

November 11, 2017 at 10:18 pm

Hello, My name is Stephanie. I’m a mommy of 4 young children ages 2,4 and 6 the forth is still in the oven . I love my kid’s so much and i hurt knowing they see me failing not only as a mom but I’m a single momso it’s getting really tough. If any help is available I’m here i can work from home/friends house other than that with the cost of daycare np ride and very difficult pregnancy I’m lost on what to do.

Myra jurado

December 11, 2017 at 7:13 am

My name is Myra, I am a mother of four teenage daughters and now a grandma! I am disabled,in the process of a disability claim.i need a reliable car to get my girls to school,get to the grocery store or just everyday things.ive never received any child support so we struggled from day one.Please help us

Donna L Hastings

February 7, 2018 at 12:12 pm

I’m a single mother that needs transportation to get to work. I don’t have any money to buy a car. Free donation of a car would be greatly appreciated.

Jennifer cruz

July 13, 2018 at 5:00 am

I have 2 boys that I’m raising and have been since 2009 when my husband was killed. I recently got evicted from my house in San Bernardin, in Jan to be exact. I sent my 2 boys with my mother in law in Orange county and I have been homeless since then. I’m trying to get back on my feet but without reliable transportation or a home of my own it’s hard to get steady work anywhere. I’m 41 yrs old and I’m tired of bouncing around ever since I’ve been a widow. I just need a little bit of help with a good running car, I’m not even asking for a brand new,or even nice exterior. As long as tags are up to date and it runs guns. I would prefer a truck or minivan only because I do alot of recycling for money on the side. But I would take anything really. Hope u can help us. Thank u and may God bless.

Kamika Moore

December 28, 2018 at 1:42 pm

I am a single mother in need of transportation to get to work. I have a 5year old little boy that would also greatly benefit. I do not have the money to buy a car. A free donated car would help us both so much.

Karen Kirbis

June 4, 2019 at 4:12 am

I know a super single mom with a 4 yr old, a 1 yr old and a newborn as of today! , in great need of a decent car. Her ex stole her car, kept it for months, had his girlfriend call saying they re bringing it to her. They did. Back window is broken out, full of garbage, no ignition…just a bunch of wires to twist together to start it. Wow. Please help if you can! She needs a decent car for her and her 3 little girls. Thank you


June 7, 2019 at 3:30 pm

I am in a long, drawn out divorce from my abusive spouse, living in my mother’s basement in one room with my two amazing children (7 and 3). I fled from my spouse and am starting over with absolutely nothing. I recently got a job that requires me to drive to different locations during the day which I can only do by borrowing my mother’s car but this is not sustainable. I only make minimum wage and am in desperate need of a car of my own. I am an artist/photographer and would love to repay your kindness with a custom portrait.

michelle aragon

October 4, 2019 at 12:43 am

Hi my name is Michelle Aragon I am a single mother with 4 girls and one boy, my van had broke down in may of this yr so I was without a vehicle school wasn’t even finished yet and I cldnt get them to school, a month later I had finally got someone willing to sale me a car with low payments well 2 weeks later it was stolen from my yard and it wasn’t even insured yet reported it and still havent located it yet!. Not finished in July had someone I was working with told me she had a older car she wld work with me on payments cause she new how it was, when I went to her house to sign a contract we made deal on $1200 for vehicle with payments a $200 a month well when the end of the month. Came she showed up to her jouse with her husband and when I went to pay them the $200 for the month. Her husband jump the price up to $500 a month and they wAnted $4000 for the car so I had to tell them to take it and I got fired so I have no job my 19 daughter has a desibility and my to youngest girls have respertory problems they get sick they get hospitalized so pls if you guys R reading this I want to tell u thank u if my story isn’t the one u vote for I wont hate u or be mad I will just have to keep believing and praying thing will get better thank and god bless!!

Yana shnayder

December 22, 2019 at 1:44 pm

I’m a single mom of a 16 month old I want to win please help us