Abandoned vehicles

A vehicle (car, motorcycle, van, truck, trailer or caravan) left on a Council road / road reserve or municipal place, may be considered abandoned if:

  • registration is expired or cancelled
  • number plates have been removed
  • has not moved for at least 2 months (registered or unregistered)
  • does not have a valid permit

Check vehicle registration

If you suspect a vehicle is unregistered you can check the registration status on the VicRoads website.

What happens to an abandoned vehicle?

Authorised Officers will investigate and determine if a vehicle is considered abandoned or is unregistered.

For vehicles identified as abandoned or unregistered:

  • a notice will be placed on the windscreen of the vehicle
  • the notice will specify the time frame the owner has to remove the vehicle

If the vehicle is not removed within the timeframe it will be impounded by Council (as specified under Schedule 11 of the Local Government Act 1989).

Once a vehicle is impounded, the last registered owner will be contacted. The owner will be given 28 days to collect or surrender their vehicle.

Has my car been impounded?

If you believe your vehicle may have been impounded by Council contact our Local Laws department during office hours on 03 5036 2333 or email locallaws@swanhill.vic.gov.au.

We will need the following details about your vehicle:

  • registration
  • make
  • model
  • location it was removed from

Requesting release and fees

Before a vehicle is released you will be required to pay the vehicle release fee.

If you are not the last registered owner of the vehicle you will also need to provide:

  • proof of ownership
  • a statutory declaration


Abandoned vehicles 2024/25 fees
Vehicle release fees  $450

What happens to unclaimed vehicles?

If a vehicle is not claimed or collected it may be:

  • disposed of by auction, public tender or advertised for sale
  • destroyed
  • given away to schools or organisations for educational purposes

Report a suspected abandoned vehicle

If you suspect a vehicle has been abandoned or is unregistered on a Council road reserve, please report the issue to Council.

We will need the following details:

  • exact location of vehicle
  • registration plate details (if known)
  • description of vehicle
  • how long it has been parked in that location

Report an issue to Council

If the vehicle is on a VicRoads controlled road, including highways. You will need to call VicRoads on 13 11 70.