If your car is stolen and burnt, you pay the bill

Those that have their cars stolen and burnt out are paying for it –with the responsibility to remove dumped cars falling on the owner’s shoulders. 

Car-theft victim Michael Browne said he was less than impressed to learn that when his unregistered car was found dumped and burnt out in Cardigan he had to remove the car. 

When the police contacted Mr Browne informing him the car had been found, he had been enjoying festivities with a couple of cans of beer.

He told the police he was in no state to drive and wouldn’t removing it.

Michael Browne.

Michael Browne.

He claims they told him he may liable if another person hit his car and damaged their car. 

Police media spokeswoman Natalie Webster confirmed this, saying there was no set time period to remove the vehicle but it should be done as soon as possible.

“It is the owner’s responsibility to remove the car,” Ms Webster said.

“Depending on the circumstances and the length of time the vehicle has been outstanding it can make it the owner’s responsibility or the relevant insurance company’s responsibility.”

It is not 100 per cent clear what happens if the car is not removed. The number of cars stolen, dumped and deliberately set on fire is continuing to sky-rocket.

It is the owner’s responsibility to remove the car.

Police spokeswoman

“There is no set time period to remove the vehicle but the person or body responsible (such as) an insurance company should try and remove the vehicle as soon as possible.” 

Ms Webster said liability for collisions were difficult to determine and the number of variables made it difficult to “make a defining statement in relation to this aspect”. 

“Victoria Police can direct a tow for a vehicle causing an undue obstruction due to danger, illegal parking, breakdown or intentionally blocking a roadway which would mitigate the possibility of a vehicle being the cause of a collision,” Ms Webster said. 

Police will also remove a vehicle if required for a criminal investigation.

Police remain high alert as cars continue to be dumped and lit during the fire danger season. A late 2016 Meredith bushfire was started by a stolen, dumped car that was torched and police remained concerned that this could happen again in Ballarat.