What Are the Laws for Car Abandonment?


Quick Answer

Car abandonment laws vary depending on local statutes, according to USLegal. A car might be considered abandoned if, for more than 48 hours, it remains on private property without consent, is illegally parked in a public area or is parked on the right-of-way of a highway.

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What Are the Laws for Car Abandonment?
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Full Answer

A vehicle may also be considered legally abandoned if it is both inoperable and over 5 years old when it is abandoned for more than 48 hours in a public area, as stated by USLegal. When left in a turnpike, the car might be considered abandoned after only 24 hours. Depending on local laws, the last known owner of the vehicle may be notified before the vehicle is sold or scrapped. The notice generally explains what the owner must do to retrieve the vehicle and how much must be paid as a fine or storage fee.

In Idaho, abandoned vehicles are those left unattended for 24 hours or longer on a roadside, a business property, a residential property or a rental property, according to the Idaho Transportation Department. Vehicle abandonment laws are put into place by local governments due to the status of abandoned vehicles as potential fire hazards and their affect on an area's aesthetic appeal, as confirmed by USLegal. These laws refer to all motorized transportation units, including cars and boats.

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