Abandoned Cars Law in GA: Understanding the Rules and Regulations

March 26, 2023 - 1:16 am - 3 min read

What is an Abandoned Car?

An abandoned car is one that has been left unattended on public property or private property for an extended period. These vehicles may be inoperable, have no license plates, or are parked in areas where they are deemed a safety hazard or nuisance. Abandoned cars can attract vandalism, theft, and illegal activities, thus posing a risk to public safety and welfare.

Abandoned Car Laws in GA

In Georgia, abandoned car laws are governed by the Georgia Code Title 40, Chapter 9. The law allows local governments, landowners, and law enforcement authorities to remove and dispose of abandoned vehicles. Under Georgia law, a vehicle is considered abandoned if it has been left unattended on public property for more than ten days or on private property for more than 30 days.

If the owner of the vehicle is known, the local county will notify them of the impending impoundment of their vehicle. If the owner is unknown, the local sheriff’s office will issue a public notice by publishing in the newspaper. After this, the car will be towed away, and the owner must pay a retrieval fee for the car to be returned.

Impoundment of Abandoned Vehicles

In addition to the above, abandoning a vehicle on the highway or any other public or private property is considered a criminal misdemeanor under Georgia Code Section 40-11-2. The statute permits police officers, local authorities, and property owners to remove abandoned cars from their premises and have them impounded.

Furthermore, the vehicle owner may be required to pay fines for improper disposal of personal property and fees associated with storing and disposing of impounded vehicles. To prevent impoundment of an abandoned car, owners must ensure their vehicles have their registration renewed, contain valid license plates, and aren’t parked on public or private land without permission.

Sale of Abandoned Vehicles

In Georgia, once the authorities have held an impounded car for at least 30 days, it becomes eligible for sale. The vehicle’s sale proceeds will be used to offset the cost of impoundment and disposal fees. However, if the car remains unsold after six months, it will be destroyed or otherwise disposed of.

The individuals who purchase the abandoned vehicles in the auction automatically assume full ownership and responsibility for the vehicle. The buyer must have a valid driver’s license and all the necessary documentation to prove ownership. Consequently, it is critical to conducting a thorough inspection of an abandoned vehicle before bidding on it to avoid ended up with a problematic car.


Abandoned car laws in Georgia are established to protect the public from the dangers posed by derelict vehicles. Property owners and government authorities are empowered to remove and impound abandoned cars, and delinquent car owners may be subject to fines and legal repercussions. Abandoned vehicles may also be sold off to the highest bidder, giving willing buyers an opportunity to own reasonably priced vehicles. It is essential to adhere to these laws to safeguard public safety and prevent violations.


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