In vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs), because of the nonexistence of end-to-end connections, it is essential that nodes take advantage of connection opportunities to forward messages to make end-to-end messaging possible. Thus, it is crucial to make sure that nodes have incentives to forward messages for others, despite the fact that the routing protocols in VANETs are different from traditional end-to-end routing protocols. In this paper, we study how to stimulate message forwarding in VANETs. Our approach is based on coalitional game theory. In particular, we propose an incentive scheme for VANETs and rigorously show that with our scheme, faithfully following the routing protocol is in the best interest of each node. In addition, we extend our scheme to taking the limited storage space of each node into consideration. Experiments on testbed trace data verify that our scheme is effective in stimulating cooperation of message forwarding in VANETs.