Abandoned vehicles

The number of vehicles and trailers on our roads and neighbourhoods is increasing, and if abandoned can result in a safety risk or obstruction to road users or pedestrians. Abandoned vehicles can also become an open spaces issue impacting our environment and enjoyment of Baysides beautiful areas.

What is an abandoned vehicle?

Parking an unregistered vehicle, whether it is a car, boat, caravan or trailer on a road is an offence under the Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Act.

Before reporting a vehicle you think has been abandoned, check the NSW number plate on Service NSW to see if it is registered. Council can’t take any action if the vehicle is registered and legally parked.
Council Rangers investigate reports of an abandoned vehicle by:

  • Attempting to find the last known owner of the registered vehicle
  • checking if the vehicle is registered or stolen
  • placing a bright green sticker on the window while we monitor the vehicle and wait to hear from the owner
  • removing the vehicle if the owner takes no action or Council can’t locate the owner.

This process can take up to 45 business days before the abandoned vehicle can be processed and removed from the street, however vehicles that pose a safety risk can be removed immediately. 

For further details about the process, please see Council's Impounding of Vehicles Policy.

You can report an abandoned vehicle by either calling Customer Service on 1300 581 299 or using our Online services.

New rules for abandoned vehicles

The NSW Government has introduced the new Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021 and regulations, which makes owners of abandoned vehicles responsible for doing the right thing and removing their property from public land.

Council may notify the owner that their vehicle is causing a safety risk, an obstruction, or has been left unattended in one place for too long. This includes unattended  boat trailers, other trailers and caravans.

The owner must respond and move the vehicle within the following timeframes:

  • Immediately - if causing an obstruction or safety risk
  • three days - if unregistered, or registered but can’t be legally driven , 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.

Fines of $660 apply for leaving a vehicle unattended. Higher court-imposed penalties may apply.

graphic showing the new rules for registered vehicles parked safely, unregistered vehicles parked safely, obstruction or safety risk, and what happens after vehicle is taken