Owners fail to rescue 50pc of cars in pound
HALF of the illegally parked cars taken to the pound in Dublin city are never reclaimed by their owners.
The vehicles are then disposed of at the expense of taxpayers, the Herald can reveal.
It has raised concerns that motorists are abandoning cars on the side of the street, rather than paying the disposal costs themselves.
City transport official Brian Riddick reported to city councillors the rate of recovery of impounded cars is "50/50", with those not claimed being crushed.
Disposing of the cars is part of the cost of operating the council's parking enforcement service and amounts to about €50 or €60 per car.
"They have to be de-polluted as well in accordance with the EU prevention of pollution regulations," he explained.
When a vehicle is taken to the pound, the owner must pay a fee of €160, as well as a storage charge of €35 a day, in order to reclaim the car.
Figures show that six cars a week were impounded last year, meaning around 156 a year were never recovered.
The cost to the city of disposing of the vehicles was more than €9,000, plus the further cost of towing the vehicles and keeping them in storage.
Mr Riddick said in many cases it would not be worth the cost of tracking down the owner.
"We are obliged to write to the last registered owner of the vehicle to inform that person that their car is in the pound and is likely to be crushed if they don't come forward and pay the outstanding fines," he added.
Nevertheless, many of the drivers don't come forward.
A car is generally removed to the pound if it remains clamped on the street 24 hours after the device was first attached by Dublin Street Parking Services.
Owners are given around four to six weeks to reclaim the vehicle.