So what happens to abandoned cars?


Cars are sometimes left abandoned for an extended period of time on the sides of the roads, in parking lots and even on our street. It could be an unroadworthy or a stolen car, left abandoned to rot. And there are many reasons to why this happens. The inability to afford a tow service is one of it.


While this is common, it never really crossed our minds to ask what happened to the car when it is no longer in our sight. Who removed it and who cleaned the spot. And if it is still there, how long do we have to wait before we could lodge a report to get rid of the eyesore.



Every country has the procedures to help rid their roads of abandoned cars and if lucky enough, even find the owners. Once a car is reported as abandoned, both the local and state law enforcement officers will take several measures to get it removed. Some may take time but the job will get done.


Our team at MUV realised that this may not be a public knowledge. Thus, we took the effort to study the Road Transport Act 1987 to understand and share our understanding with you – our readers.


According to Section 65 of the Road Transport Ordinance (RTO) 1987 or Act 333, the only relevant authorities who possess the right to order the removal of abandoned cars are the police officers, road transport officers, the Dato Bandar, the Perbadanan Putrajaya or the Director General of Highway Authority Malaysia or the concession company duly authorised in writing by the Director General of Highway Authority Malaysia. And those who can be directed are the owner or driver of the car or any other person possessing the authority at that particular time. Those who fail to comply when required shall be guilty of an offence.



Until fees prescribed under the Act of removal or detention is settled, the car will be removed and detained at a suitable place with no safety guarantee. The fees are payable to the Chief Police Officer, if the removal was done by the police authorities; to the mayor, if it was done by a traffic warden or any officer in the DBKL and the Director-general of the Highway Authority of Malaysia. It was also mentioned in the Act that a police officer, the mayor and highway authorities of Malaysia are not liable for any loss or damage caused to the car in its course of removal or while it is being detained.


However before the car is being detained, a written notice of the detention must be issued to the owner of the car if he or she is found. And should there be no response from the owner within three months detention period, the officer may, after giving a month’s notice in the Gazette, sell the car for scrap or at a public auction.


Although it will not worth much, proceeds from the disposal will be used to settle payments imposed under this Act. Should there be any surplus, it shall be paid to the owner of the vehicle and if not claimed within 12 months after the date of disposal, shall be forfeited to the Federal Government, the Datuk Bandar or the Perbadanan Putrajaya, or the Director General of the Highway Authority as the case may be.



Without prejudice, the powers of the Minister under paragraph 66(1)(f), the Datuk Bandar and the Director General of the Highway Authority, may, after consultations with the Minister, impose fees for the removal of any vehicles from any road within the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur or Putrajaya and the detention thereof in accordance with this section.


Our team at MUV urge you to be courteous. If you have seen one or two abandoned cars near your house, you know now what to do. Let’s clean our roads and make our commute as pleasant and safe as possible.


Click here to know more about the road law.


*Photos are courtesy of Google Image Search


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