Darwin’s abandoned cars

abandoned cars

Earlier in 2007, the city alderman said Darwin was in danger of becoming the car wreck capital of Australia. Far from being the tropical city, it was fast becoming junk yard city. Many residents would agree. Abandoned cars are not pretty and not the best way to promote tourism.

Why so many abandoned?

Nobody has a satisfactory answer to the question why so many are abandoned. Some claim they belong to backpackers who bought a vehicle for their travels and then abandoned it to fly home. Others say it is because penalties for abandoning a vehicle are too low – there is no fine, only a release fee of $357.

Abandoned cars cost council time and money:

  • During 2017, council received 1003 complaints about abandoned cars and impounded 146
  • Council spent $51,000 for towing, $27,000 for advertising = $78,000.

Council uses newspaper classifieds to advertise abandoned cars whose owners received notices but did not respond. Meanwhile, interstate and unplated vehicles are advertised for 2 weeks before being sold at auction or to scrap metal buyers.

Report an abandoned vehicle

If you see an abandoned vehicle in your local area, you can report it to council in two ways:

  1. Using Click and Fix app
  2. Ring 08 8930 0600

Within 24-48 hours of the complaint, council starts the process of serving notice on the vehicle owner. Note, it cannot remove registered vehicles from public spaces unless the vehicle is being vandalised.

If you need to register your NT vehicle, go here.