The abandonment of a vehicle is an offence as, if not managed properly, they can result in a safety risk or obstruction to road users or pedestrians.
The NSW Government has introduced new laws – the Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021 and regulations – that put accountability firmly on those responsible to do the right thing and remove their property quickly from public land.
If a complaint is received then Council will notify the owner that their vehicle is causing a safety risk or an obstruction or has been left unattended in one place for too long, this includes boat trailers, other trailers and caravans. Once notified, the owner must respond and move the vehicle within the following risk based timeframes:
- Immediately if causing an obstruction or safety risk
- 3 days if unregistered, or registered but unable to be legally driven (e.g. due to damage), and left unattended in one place for more than 15 days
- 15 days if registered and left unattended in one place for more than 28 days.
If these timeframes are not met, the council may:
- Move the vehicle causing a safety risk or an obstruction to a safer place in the same general area, or take possession of the vehicle and move the vehicle to a place of storage, and issue a fine.
The Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021 and regulations allows that vehicles that are determined to be worth less than $1500.00 to be destroyed upon impounding.
Vehicles deemed to be worth $1500.00 or more will be taken to a holding yard when impounded, where they will accrue an impound charge. For these vehicles to be released to the last registered owner, this person must provide to Council, proof of identity, proof of ownership and pay to Council all fees associated with the impound and release of the vehicle.
If a vehicle that is worth $1500.00 or more is not claimed by the last registered owner within 28 days of being impounded, it will be auctioned to recover the costs incurred.
To report an abandoned vehicle, contact Council. Please provide details of the location of the vehicle, make of the vehicle, colour and registration number.