Abandoned cars are those left on private property, public parking lots, or even on the side of the road. They could be in bad mechanical condition, very old, or good condition. They often take up unnecessary space. Some laws govern how to get rid of an abandoned vehicle, which varies from state to state.
In this article you will learn what to do with an unexpected abandoned car and how to remove it.
Determining What Abandoned Cars Are
An abandoned car is any vehicle left on private property without being claimed for an extended time. In most states, a vehicle that has been on private property for longer than 72 or 96 hours may be considered by authorities as abandoned.
On the other hand, there are unclaimed vehicles. These are vehicles where the person withholding it can be a mechanic or even a law enforcement officer, and they withhold the car if there are outstanding fines or fees. Unclaimed cards are not abandoned cars.
Abandoned cars may also be in a state of disrepair and cannot move in the condition that it is in. A car that has been left on your property without registration or has temporary registration may be abandoned. Bicycles and motorbikes are not categorized as abandoned. If there is an abandoned car on your property, it is up to you, the property owner, to remove the car unless it is a stolen car.
What To Do With An Abandoned Car
The first thing you may wish to do is find out who the vehicle owner is. You can ask around your neighbourhood if anyone knows the owner of the vehicle. You can also ask through various social media platforms in your location. If this does not point you to the owner, you will need to report to local police about the car.
Following the legal process protects you in case the owner comes back. They will not accuse you of stealing it if you choose to remove it from your property. You will need to report to the police the details of the car. These details will include the make, model, and type of car. In addition, you will need to report the colour of the vehicle, the chassis number, engine number, and registration number if you can find them.
The police may carry out a search to determine the car is not stolen, or they may go ahead and advise you to put up a notice of your intention to dispose of the car. If the police find out the vehicle was stolen, they will arrange to tow it away.
Different states and areas will have different rules on how to proceed, and it is important to know those specific for your area so that you can follow them. You can access the laws online or ask your local council office. It is important to follow the law when getting rid of abandoned cars to avoid running into legal trouble in the future.
In some cases, you will have to notify the public of your intention to get rid of the vehicle. This may be done by putting a notice in the local newspaper and having the notice run for a period. In some cases, the report made to the police is sufficient to protect you from any legal claims made against you by the owner of the car, should the owner come looking for it.
Towing An Abandoned Car
To remove the abandoned car, you will have to arrange to tow it away from your property. In some states, the state will take care of the cost of towing away the car. In others, you will have to pay for the towing charges.
The towing company will take the vehicle to their premises. After calling the towing company to come and remove the car, they will give you an uncollected goods certificate and call. The cost of towing will depend on the make and model of the car and the condition that it is in. Larger vehicles will cost more to tow compared to smaller ones. In some areas, towing scrap cars is free, and you will not have to pay anything.
You will need to find out what the case is for your area. In case the owner of the car comes looking for it, you can direct them to the tow company, and they can trace their vehicle there. If the owner does not come forward after being towed and it stays in storage for a certain period, the authorities can put it up for auction, or a scrap company can destroy it, and they get rid of it.
Length of Time It Takes To Tow An Abandoned Car
The amount of time it takes to get an abandoned car towed will vary based on the regulations of your locality. However, once you realise the owner has not claimed the vehicle and you report it to the police, it will take an average of seven to fifteen days. Afterwards, the authorities will tow the vehicle or be permitted to have the car towed away from your property. In some cases, it can take longer.
Claiming An Abandoned Car
If you have an abandoned vehicle on your property and you would like to keep it instead of getting rid of it. There is a process to get ownership of the abandoned car. It is important to research the laws that govern this process in your area. In some cases, you will need to put up a notice and wait for a period before you can claim the car.
In other areas, you will need to wait to get the go-ahead from the police before you can claim ownership. Once you have met the required parameters, you can apply for the car’s title. Once you have the title, you can auction the car off or work on it and improve it for your use.
Abandoned Cars In Public Areas
Suppose you find an abandoned car in a public area such as the road or the parking lot of your residential area. In that case, it becomes the responsibility of the local authorities to call the towing company and remove it. The authorities will follow a process similar to that of an owner of private property.
The authorities will try to find the vehicle owner and give them time to collect it. If the vehicle owner comes forward for their vehicle, they may have to pay for towing and storage charges before they can get their car.