x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Abu Dhabi tows 1,000 filthy or abandoned vehicles

Impound charges for dirty cars will set back car owners Dh10 a day.

ABU DHABI // More than 1,000 cars have been impounded this year for being dirty or appearing abandoned as the municipality steps up its campaign to rid the city of neglected vehicles.

The vehicles are towed and impounded if they are found unmoved and dirty for more than 14 days. Owners must pay Dh10 per day in impound fees, with a Dh2,000 cap. Vehicles that are not claimed are auctioned off.

Municipality officials said this week that 1,052 cars had been impounded so far this year.

Last year, 4,670 cars were impounded, compared with 1,595 in 2009.

Most of the vehicles were impounded because they appeared to be abandoned at parking areas, on roadsides or in areas without "enclosures or fences", the municipality said. Unwashed vehicles are also subjected to towing, an offence the municipality called "an irresponsible flouting of the community rights".

Daily inspections of city streets and car parks are conducted by municipality inspectors. If a vehicle is considered in violation, it is monitored for two weeks. At the end of the 14-day period, a notice is placed on the vehicle, requesting it be removed by the owners. After 24 hours, the car will be towed. Owners can call the municipality hotline for information at 800 22220.

Municipal officials said the number of inspections would increase this year.

jthomas@thenational.ae