How to report an abandoned car on the street or in your community garage

How to report an abandoned car on the street or in your community garage

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It is still quite common to see cars, vans, or motorcycles that are completely deteriorated, covered in dust, and with deflated tires occupying a parking space. In fact, the Spanish traffic authorities (DGT) estimate that there are about 20,000 abandoned cars in private facilities (abandoned cars in garages, in a community of owners, in workshops…) and that around 50,000 vehicles are abandoned each year.

This can result in a hefty fine for the owner, as their obligation is to deregister it and remove it from the obligation, as indicated by the Law.

Until now, you could only request the removal of the vehicle if it was on the public road. However, with the Spanish VEH 2022/26 instruction, you can also request it if the vehicle is abandoned in a community of owners, in a shopping centre, in a workshop, in private zones, etc. In each case, the time to file the complaint is different. In a private area, it must be proven that the vehicle has been abandoned for a minimum of two months. In a public parking lot, at least six months must elapse to report abandonment.

You can report an abandoned car to your city hall by phone, internet, or in person.

It may happen that you go on a trip for a period exceeding one month or any other circumstance that prevents you from moving the car and someone has reported it. To prove that the vehicle is not abandoned, you will have to provide valid vehicle documentation, with the latest ITV passed, car insurance, and payment of taxes. You will also have to pay the fine and the expenses of the crane and deposit before you can take it away.

Marisa Moreno Castillo

Danish Consul and Senior Lawyer at Just Law Solicitors.

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