What to do and who to contact if you believe your vehicle has been towed or you see an abandoned vehicle.

Why vehicles are towed

An enforcement officer may require a vehicle to be towed, if in their opinion, the removal of that vehicle is necessary for the safety of other road users or in the best interest of the public, as an example, the removal of abandoned vehicles. Any vehicle being removed by the Council requires an enforcement officer to make a constable aware of the vehicles registration and the location where the vehicle has been moved too.

If you believe your vehicle has been towed

Call the Council on 0800 SELWYN (735 996) and we will be able to advise you if your vehicle was towed by the Council.

Possible reasons for having your vehicle towed:

  • If your vehicle was parked illegally you will receive an infringement notice in addition to a tow fee. These tow fees can be found on the Parking Information and Fees page.
  • If your vehicle was not parked illegally, it may have been removed for safety reasons, for example to enable emergency work to be carried out.  In this case you will not receive an infringement notice and your vehicle has likely been moved to a safe location nearby.
  • If your vehicle was not removed by the Council, please contact the Police to confirm whether your vehicle has been moved by a constable or needs to be reported as stolen.

Abandoned vehicles

A vehicle is considered abandoned when it has been left in a public place and its warrant of fitness and registration labels are not visible, or one or both have expired by more than 31 days.

If a vehicle is abandoned, Council is permitted under section 356 & 356A of the Local Government Act 1974 to remove it from roads within the district.

If you would like to report an abandoned vehicle, please Contact Us.

Generally, a notice will be attached to the vehicle and a letter sent to the registered owner (if known). Should the vehicle remain on the road for a period of time after this process, the Council may remove the vehicle by either:

  • removing and impounding the vehicle to the Council tow yard in Rolleston, or
  • immediately disposing of the vehicle, should the enforcement officer deem it to be of no residual value.

Vehicles that are impounded and then claimed by an owner will be returned, once payment has been made for all costs incurred. Should a vehicle remain impounded without being claimed by the owner, the vehicle is legally deregistered and sold to cover costs.

The Council will deduct costs from any sale and any other proceeds will be kept for 12 months. Should the previous owner come forward, they may claim the proceeds during that period.