The real cost of abandoned vehicles

Unregistered vehicles left abandoned by their owners are costing Queensland ratepayers thousands of dollars every year.

Townsville City Council received more than 900 complaints last year about unwanted vehicles being left in public places, of these, 249 required towing, with associated costs being passed onto ratepayers.

RACQ’s Steve Spalding said the law stated an unregistered vehicle must remain on private property or risk being removed.

“Unregistered vehicles will receive a fine and if they aren’t moved they will be towed by council,” Mr Spalding said.

“Police will always try to locate the owner, but if this can’t be done they will be removed.

“The costs of removal are partly recouped when the vehicle is sold to wreckers or an auction yard, but the remainder of the cost is covered by ratepayers.”

Community Health and Environment Committee chairwoman Ann-Maree Greaney told the Townsville Bulletin abandoned vehicles cost the community a lot more than just removal.

“The majority of costs incurred by the city is for staff to investigate and follow through on each complaint,” Cr Greaney said.

So far this year the Townsville City Council had received 270 complaints and towed 57 vehicles.

Mr Spalding also stressed the safety risks when vehicles were abandoned on the road side.

“Cars left on the road become an obstacle others could run into,” he said.

“This can result in a serious crash and put people’s lives at risk.”

RACQ recommended motorists wanting to dispose of unregistered vehicles contacted their local wreckers or scrap metal yard. Alternatively, motorists could check newspapers and online for locals or groups willing to collect unregistered or damaged vehicles.