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Abandoned vehicle

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Abandoned vehicle

A vehicle (car, truck, trailer etc) may be considered abandoned if:

  • it's parked on a public roadway and
  • it has been there for an unusual length of time, and
  • the owner cannot be located, and / or
  • the vehicle is trashed, stripped, has no licence plates, or no current licence or warrant of fitness.

Gisborne District Council has no authority over vehicles abandoned on private property. 

Reclaiming an abandoned vehicle

You can reclaim your vehicle if it has been towed.  Before the vehicle can be released you need to pay a minimum fee of $65 towing fee at customer service in Fitzherbert Street, Gisborne. You will need to provide proof of ownership of the vehicle with suitable identification. Arrangements will then be made with you to collect the vehicle.

Reporting an abandoned vehicle

Report an abandoned or derelict vehicle to us by calling customer services ph (06) 867 2049 or fill in our online form.  It would help us to have as much information about the vehicle, such as:

  • Where is the vehicle is parked?
  • What's the make, model, colour and registration number?
  • What condition is it in?
  • How long has the vehicle been there?
  • Do you know who owns the vehicle?
  • Did you see how the vehicle got there?
  • Was it involved in an accident?

Before council can remove an abandoned vehicle

Before a vehicle is declared to be legally abandoned, reasonable attempts must be made to contact the owner and identify their interest in the vehicle. 
Where possible the last registered owner is contacted by letter and given 14 days to reply.  Properties around the location of the vehicle will be contacted to try to identify the owner. A police check is made before a vehicle is moved to make sure it has not been reported stolen.  If it has, police will notify the owner and the investigation will be put on hold.

If the owner is found, they are required to move the vehicle to private property and pay any parking tickets that have been issued. 
This entire process can take up to 21 days due to the legal investigation.  During investigation, the vehicle will be left where it is, as long as it does not affect road safety or block a vehicle entrance. A notice may be put on the vehicle advising the owner to contact Council.

If the vehicle is a safety hazard, it may be towed to safe storage or placed in safer position (this may mean putting it on the grassed verge or moving it along the road). Vehicles considered a safety hazard include vehicles parked:

  • on yellow lines
  • obstructing entrances
  • in permit holders only spaces without a permit
  • dangerously
  • on footpaths or cycle paths
  • between clearway signs
  • illegally on a bus stop
  • all day on a "P" restriction and causing an obstruction

I've got an unwanted vehicle on my property

Here are some options for car bodies or wreck removal

Council has no authority to remove vehicles on private property.