How to Claim Ownership of an Abandoned Vehicle?

An abandoned vehicle certainly means that the owner values the vehicle no more and leaves it at a certain place unattended. An inhibited vehicle, either in public or private, needs to be removed and then vended to a person willing to buy it. There are regulations on removing the abandoned vehicle and selling it, and the rules differ from one country to another.

Therefore, it is difficult for one to suddenly hold the abandoned vehicle even though the vehicle is in your possession. A vehicle is declared abandoned after time has passed and probably five days on the government property up to around forty days. The vehicle owner is first contacted to know if he abandoned the vehicle intentionally or it was stolen.

If the owner claims to have no use with it, then it can be vended to the interested party, or the interested party can claim it. Claiming the vehicle has rules and regulations to be followed depending on the country you live in.

The Claiming process of the abandoned carhow to claim ownership of an abandoned vehicle

A polite notice is needed from the person claiming the uninhibited vehicle. For instance, the person must give the records of the vehicle, which outlines the vehicle briefly, where he or she left the vehicle and the period in which he or she has left the vehicle unattended.

The documents provided are then verified to prove if it is true. If true, the vehicle is thoroughly examined and given to the owner. To claim the ownership of the unattended vehicle, first, confirm if the vehicle is abandoned. If abandoned, follow the governmental process on how to claim it to own it fully. You must wait for the authorities to confirm that the vehicle is officially abandoned.

Step 1: Understand your country or state’s definitions of abandoned vehiclesaw3

Make sure you understand your state rules and how they define the concept of vehicle abandonment. Understand when the motor vehicle is to be declared abandoned especially if the vehicle has been left unattended for state specified time.

Visit your area authority, the Department of Motor Vehicles, for full consent that the vehicle has been officially unattended.

Step 2: Find the possibilities of acquiring the vehicleFind the possibilities of acquiring the vehicle

Consult the Department of Motor Vehicles on the probability of succeeding in claiming the unattended car and the policies concerning the vehicle title acquisition. Check your area policies to understand the means of getting the unattended vehicle.

For instance, you can obtain the vehicle after purchasing it, or the owner may prefer passing the vehicle title to you. Seek permission to check the car and decide whether to claim it or not.

Step 3: Inspect the unattended vehicle for any damages or problems

Most of the time, vehicles are left unattended due to the vehicle being damaged beyond repair hence becoming unsafe for the owner to continue using it. Check its worthiness with the help of a licensed or an expert mechanic. Inspect the abandoned vehicle carefully for any damages.

Step 4: Communicate with the vehicle owner to obtain more information about the vehicle

Find the owner’s location by using the vehicle’s number plate. Contact him or her and discuss details concerning vehicle title. Copy the vehicle’s number plate. Try using the VIN to get in touch with the legal owner.

Step 5: Take the number plate to the Department of Motor Vehicles

The Department will help you find the owner of the vehicle. The owner will get a notification of you attempting to obtain the vehicle title and the notification describes the whole vehicle, including the type, number plate and the location where it was found.

Step 6: Check for any legal ways of purchasing the abandoned vehicleCheck for any legal ways of purchasing the abandoned vehicle

Research and know the appropriate way of purchasing the abandoned vehicle from the initial owner. The Department of Motor Vehicles should legally accept the method you have chosen. Buying the abandoned vehicle from the owner requires you to follow the legal steps.

For instance, getting a bill report that contains all your verified information such as your name, the vehicle model, the year it was manufactured, the date, the year of purchase and finally, your signature and the initial owner’s signature.

Step 7:  Fill the purchasing form concerning the abandoned vehicle

Authorities ruling over vehicle abandonment contain forms concerning different vehicle topics. Firstly, the authorities and you will be given a certain form to fill. Fill all blanks and answer all questions asking when the vehicle was abandoned, the vehicle information and finally, the location where it was abandoned.

Lastly, fill in the information concerning the vehicle purchasing, such as your name, amount of payment, signature, among others.

Step 8: Submit your form to the Department and wait for the responseSubmit your form to the Department and wait for the response

After following all the policies concerning vehicle purchase, submit your filled form to the Department of Motor Vehicle and make the required payments. Wait for someday for the approval of the car purchase and confirmation. In case of any abandoned vehicle damages, consult an expert mechanic for repairs.

Frequently asked questions:

  • How long does it take for care to be declared abandoned?

A vehicle is declared abandoned if it has been left on your belongings for more than 48 hours. If it concerns public property, the vehicle is considered abandoned after it stays for more than four days and up to forty days.

  • What happens to the vehicles that have been abandoned?

Different countries have different ways of handling the abandoned vehicles on the roads, public property, or private property. The similarity in all states is that the Department of Motor Vehicles handles the situations concerning abandoned vehicles.

Moreover, the Department takes the vehicle away from the property and stores it where the car is stolen until some cone claims it. If no one claims the vehicle, it is sold to interested parties, especially mechanic companies, for reuse.

  • How can I remove an abandoned car from my private place?

First, ask people around and try to gather information if they know the owner of the vehicle. If the owner is known, try to communicate with him or her to come and move the car. If you fail to find the vehicle owner within ten days and above, try contacting the local area authorities before removing it on your own.

Communicate with the Department of Motor Vehicle or any local government authority near your area. Give them the information of the abandoned vehicle, such as the car number plates, VIN.

Leave the manager or area police to confirm if there was any report concerning car theft. If the abandoned vehicle is confirmed to be stolen, police officers will come and take it to their area while they wait for the owner to come and get it.


Abandoning vehicles in any place affects the environmental expenses in the countries. For instance, oil and battery acid can leak into the environment polluting the environment and be hazardous for the health of individuals in that surrounding.

Therefore, the abandoned vehicle, if not use anymore, it should be recommendable for reuse. If still usable, any interested party ready to buy the vehicle should be allowed to buy it. After reading this article, you have known the process of claiming the abandoned vehicle in case you need it.

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