Abandoned vehicles in the Pere Garau district of Palma.

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The maximum fine for abandoning a vehicle in Palma is to rise to 3,000 euros.

Joana Maria Adrover, the councillor for public safety, said on Wednesday that the town hall has decided to almost double the maximum (from 1,600 euros) in order to discourage abandoning vehicles. "Those who abandon vehicles must stop and think and not transfer the problem to the town hall. They must be responsible for ownership."

Over the past three years, some 4,000 vehicles have had to be removed. The time it takes from removal to owner notification and the issue of a fine is at least three months. During this period, the town hall has to store vehicles, something made more difficult ever since the regional environment ministry ordered the town hall to stop using the Son Toells dump in 2019. This was because of environmental contamination.

A new dump, one with space for 400 vehicles in Son Oms, is due to be ready next month, the town hall currently finalising the contract with the company in charge of vehicle removal and subsequent management. A temporary facility in Sa Riera is being used at present.

Not all vehicles end up being scrapped. Some are auctioned off, while two have been used by the local police as unmarked cars. One of the biggest headaches for the town hall is when a vehicle has been embargoed. This means that it cannot be deregistered. The process of trying to recover debts applied to vehicles can take so long, Adrover notes, that vehicles are no longer usable.