There are several steps Auckland Transport (AT) must follow before lawfully removing and disposing of a vehicle. The time taken removing abandoned vehicles may differ as a result.
Unless the vehicle is creating a hazard there may be a delay between AT being advised and the vehicle being removed.
Steps to removing an abandoned vehicle
- Parking Officers will be dispatched to issue any applicable infringement notices.
- Staff will try to locate and notify the owner of the vehicle using registration details, engine or chassis numbers.
- The vehicle may be moved for storage if necessary, but the police must first be formally notified.
- If the owner doesn't respond AT will advertise its intention to either sell the vehicle within ten days or dispose of it in other ways. If AT assess the vehicle to have no value, advertising may not be necessary.
- AT declare the vehicle abandoned if an owner or interested party (eg.a finance company) don't come forward.
- Once deemed abandoned, the vehicle is legally deregistered and sold to cover towing, storage or other costs. The vehicle can be disposed of by AT or a new buyer.
- Vehicles aren't always removed while investigations take place.
- If the abandoned vehicle is claimed before a sale it will be returned to the registered owner once they make a payment for costs incurred.
- If the vehicle sells, AT will deduct costs and any other proceeds will be kept for 12 months. The previous owner can claim the proceeds during that period.
The same steps apply to NZTA for vehicles abandoned on motorways or state highways. For more information, view Section 356 of the Local Government Act 1974.