Abandoned vehicles

Abandoning a vehicle is an offence under the Impounding Act.

Impounding abandoned vehicles

When a vehicle is left abandoned for an extended period of time on any public road or Council property, Council will advise the last registered owner by a formal 'Notice of Intention to Impound'. Owners must then contact the Compliance Section of Council within the given period or remove vehicle.

The Notice advises of the penalties for non-compliance and a date when the vehicle must be removed. If the last registered owner fails to contact Council within the specified time the vehicle is deemed as abandoned and will be impounded and held for 28 days or destroyed. 

After Council has made all enquiries required under the Impounding Act 1993, Division 4 (18) of the Act allows vehicles that are determined to be worth less than $500 be destroyed upon impounding. 

Vehicles determined to be worth $500 or more are taken to a holding yard where they accrue daily holding charges.

Releasing impounded vehicles

For vehicles to be released to the last registered owner, owners must provide proof of identity, proof of ownership and pay any costs determined by Council.

If a vehicle deemed to be worth $500 or more is not claimed by the last registered owner within 28 days of being impounded, it will be sold by auction through the Lismore Tender Centre, so Council can recover costs.

The net proceeds of the sale of the vehicle are held by Council and may be claimed within 12 months by the last registered owner upon providing the relevant proofs. 

Report an abandoned vehicle

To report an abandoned vehicle please complete the online form or contact us if in a hazardous location. You will need to provide details about the location of the car, make and colour of the vehicle and registration number.

Council officers try to find the owner of a vehicle before impounding it. A vehicle may be impounded immediately if it is in a public place and is causing an obstruction to traffic (vehicular or pedestrian) or is a hazard.

For information contact Council’s Compliance Section on 02 6670 2400

Can I sell my car on the side of the road?

No. You are not allowed to sell your car on the side of the road

Please read details below:

Is the vehicle in a public place?

Public place means:

  • (a) a public reserve, public bathing reserve, public baths or public swimming pool, or
  • (b) a public road, public bridge, public wharf or public road-ferry, or
  • (c) a Crown reserve comprising land reserved for future public requirements, or
  • (d) public land or Crown land that is not:
  • (i) a Crown reserve (other than a Crown reserve that is a public place because of paragraph (a), (b) or (c)), or
  • (ii) a common, or
  • (iii) land subject to the Trustees of Schools of Arts Enabling Act 1902, or
  • (iv) land that has been sold or leased or lawfully contracted to be sold or leased, or
  • (e) land that is declared by the regulations to be a public place for the purposes of this definition.

Is the vehicle on private property?

The Tweed Environmental Plan 2000 states that the sale of cars from private land is defined as a “motor showroom”

If the vehicle is located on private land and is being used for the purpose of selling vehicles, officers will contact the owner of the property and the owner of the vehicle to inform them of the offence.

Failing to comply with this directive will result in a Penalty Infringement Notice being issued to the landowner, which carries a daily penalty of $600. Details associated with this complaint should be forwarded to the Development Assessments compliance officer for further action.

To determine this, officers need to take into account the location in which the vehicle/article is situated. Where there is a contact number attached to the vehicle/article officers may interview the person to obtain more information as to the reason the vehicle is placed in the location.

Officers will affix a notice to the windscreen of vehicles advising this is an offence and to contact Council for further details if required.

An infringement notice will be issued once officers have obtained the registered owners details and established proof of the offence.

Penalty notice - Let article/motor vehicle be exposed at road without approval.
Local Government Act Offence Code: 5066 Regulation Code: RGG
Penalty: $330