In a hypothetical scenario, Mr. Peter intends to donate a car to Mr. Joe.

There has to be a contract, a piece of paper, signed by both of them.

According to the contract law, every contract is an exchange of something.

What is being exchanged in such a contract, if the car is to be donated?

Thank you.

2 Answers 2


The "contract" (sometimes called a charitable pledge or a pledge to make a donation) is not enforceable under contact law because there is no consideration. From a contract law perspective, it isn't really a contract at all. This fact pattern is literally the "standard" example of a "contract" that is unenforceable for lack of consideration.

The promises made in the charitable pledge might be enforceable under an equitable doctrine called promissory estoppel, if someone detrimentally relies upon the promise made in the contract and it is not inequitable to do so. As a practical matter, however, donees almost never sue to enforce a pledge to make a donation.

A donative pledge should also be distinguished from a transfer document, which is also not a contract. In a transfer document, the donor is unilaterally giving something to someone, and the recipient is signing merely to affirm that they accept the transfer being made to them, rather than rejecting the donation and disclaiming it.


This contract makes a fair attempt at dressing up a gift as a contract. Para 15 states that

The parties have herein set forth the whole of their agreement. The performance of this agreement constitutes the entire consideration for said document and shall relieve Donee of all further obligation or claims. Donors have no other right or claim to compensation arising out of or connected with the acquisition of the Property by Donee.

There are a number of perfunctory obligation on the Donee, such as to "knowledges and agrees that Donee is acquiring the Property in its “AS IS” condition, with all faults, if any, and without any warranty, express or implied," or releasing the Donor "from and against all claims, actions, causes of action, demands, rights, damages, costs, expenses or compensation whatsoever, direct or indirect, known or unknown, foreseen or unforeseen", also "Donee shall pay the Closing Agent’s Escrow Fee, transfer tax and recording fees".

So it does have the form of a contract.

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