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Silves Council will remove abandoned vehicles

abandonedCarsSilves Council, at long last, is cracking down on its extensive collection of abandoned vehicles that litter the municipal capital’s streets and car parks.

A new municipal regulation will be put in force to remove these abandoned vehicles, or those that are badly parked, on December 10th.

This regulation is a result of “the concern of the municipality to safeguard the environment, the urban balance and mobility, through the disciplined parking of vehicles on public roads and in other public spaces.”
The Council has established rules and procedures to allow it to remove abandoned vehicles, although these already exist in national laws.
The local authority says that, "with the collaboration of all, it will be possible to ensure the full mobility and enjoyment of the public space, as vehicles considered abandoned and unclaimed will be sent to the scrap yard."
The new municipal regulation can be found on the Silves Council’s website, at:


Councils only occasionally remove cars that have been abandoned. They  post notices on windscreens to give owners a chance to remove them before vehicles are taken away for scrapping.

A notice is sent to the registered owner and if the vehicle is not claimed within 45 days it is considered State property and will be disposed of.

According to the ‘Driving in Portugal’ handbook, produced by afpop and sponsored by Medal Insurance, ‘Improper Parking’ is where traffic flow is impeded or when pedestrians are unable to walk along pavements. These cars can be clamped or removed - and receive hefty fines.

The more serious offence of ‘Abusive Parking,’ as detailed in the Portuguese Highway Code, is defined as

  • Parking in a non-paying parking area for more than 30 days continuously
  • Parking for more than five days in a paying car park
  • Parking in a time-limited parking area for than two hours after the ticket has expired
  • Parking for more than 48-hours in one place, if the vehicle shows signs of abandonment or appears unable to move on

Clearly, these rules are not being enforced regularly by the authorities as many cars are left for years in the same space, clearly abandoned and clearly unable to be moved unaided.

In 2016, Olhão Council identified over 250 abandoned vehicles and towed away 171 of them, (HERE) stating that it was hampered by laws that made it illegal to remove certain categories of vehicle, for example when they are owned by a finance company or have been seized through the courts in lieu of debt.

If Councils attended to the blight of abandoned vehicle and the Police dealt with those parked on pavements and in other idiotic places, pedestrians could get around with ease and law-abiding drivers would have more available parking spaces.