Selling old cars to junkyard dealers instead of ditching them, owners said

WITH flat tires, a missing rear-view mirror, the front bumper half-falling and peeling paint on the hood, the old car was indeed a sad sight.

His last trip very obviously far into the past, it was painfully obvious that whoever owned the vehicle would not return.

Abandoned cars everywhere are quickly becoming an eyesore, but on Penang Island, the problem becomes more than an aesthetic plague.

With the number of abandoned cars increasing almost every year since 2018, the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) is exploring different ways to prevent drivers from dropping their dilapidated cars in public places.

Council Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said that as of August this year, 381 reports had been filed regarding allegedly abandoned cars.

“A total of 182 of these cars had to be towed, compared to 166 cars in the whole of 2018 and 219 cars in 2019.

“These cars are of different makes and models, but each of them is over 10 years old, some a lot older,” Yew told The Star.

Only 79 cars were towed in 2020, but several factors may have contributed to this low number, including the first order of movement control where fewer people had left their homes to notice abandoned vehicles and the workforce. MBPP was more focused on essential services and the fight against the pandemic.

Yew added that economic factors, including the abolition of the GST in 2018 as well as a reduction in interest rates for new car loans during the same period, contributed to a boom in new car sales. from 2018 to 2019.

Buying a new car often leads to neglecting the old one.

“There aren’t many places to store old cars either and sometimes owners are reluctant to sell them for sentimental reasons,” he said.

Ultimately, these cars pose several problems for residents and authorities.

First of all, Yew said, they took up valuable parking spaces and were an eyesore to the community.

They have often become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and have occasionally attracted parasites and animals.

After reports of suspected abandoned vehicles were filed and the MBPP placed windshield notices giving owners seven days to remove their cars, local authorities towed the automobiles, resulting in costs and labor. -work of the council.

“We are towing the cars to one of the three depots on the island, located at Patani Road, Jalan Tanjung Tokong and Lebuh Relau, pending their disposal.

“The problem now is that with the number of cars we are removing, we are facing a lack of space in our depots.”

Yew said the majority of reported abandoned cars were found in residential areas, while a few were reported in more unusual places like parking lots at shopping malls.

In one case, a car with missing wheels supported by bricks was found occupying a parking space along Karpal Singh Drive.

“When we checked out he had a valid road tax and was paying RM 6 day parking rates.

“Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the vehicle was serving as storage space for one of the stalls that sold goods at night. RM6 per day was cheaper than renting any other place to store their stuff, ”Yew said.

Obviously, this violated the spirit of the law, but legally no action could be taken.

“Parking spaces in public places are not meant to be occupied for long. This is a loophole and we have been looking for ways to prevent such things from happening so that all drivers can have a chance to park, ”he added.

One of those proposals is to introduce a new progressive parking payment system in which drivers pay more for each continuous hour they occupy a parking space – an idea that MBPP is considering and making a decision on next year.

For now, Yew said the council is working with scrap metal vendors to help reduce incidents of vehicle abandonment.

“Since May, the council has been in contact with salespeople who buy decrepit cars from owners.

“As a result, more than half of the discontinued cars reported this year, 199 cars or 52%, did not have to be towed because owners were put in contact with these sellers.

“Currently, we have the information of 11 sellers who buy old cars on our social media pages.

“In the past, disposing of old cars could cost owners money, but now people can actually make money selling their old cars instead of leaving them on the side of the road.” , Yew said.

Three ways to report a possible car spill to the MBPP are: the 24-hour hotline 04-2637637 / 04-2637000, WhatsApp 016-2004082 and Portal e-aduan:

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