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Abandoned and Impounded Vehicles

Abandoned vehicles are safety hazards and they blight our neighborhoods. If you abandon your car in Boston, we have the right to fine you, tow your vehicle, and take further action.

The City of Boston can legally take possession of vehicles left standing on City streets for more than 72 hours. We enforce this regulation if

  • we receive a complaint from a resident, or
  • the vehicle poses a safety hazard.

We don't automatically consider a vehicle parked on the same street for more than 72 hours abandoned.

If you abandon your vehicle

We charge you $250 for your first offense, and $500 for every offense after that.  If you don’t reclaim your vehicle, it will be either crushed or auctioned off.  You will be responsible for covering all costs we pay to remove and get rid of your vehicle.

Motor vehicle auctions

Boston’s Police Department auctions off abandoned and impounded vehicles with assistance from the Transportation Department. When you buy a vehicle at auction, you need to pay the full amount in cash to the police at the time of the sale.  No other form of payment is accepted, and you can’t put a deposit down on a vehicle.

We hold auctions at

Transportation Department Tow Lot
200 Frontage Road
Boston, MA 02118


The next auction will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2024. Gate opens at 8 a.m. for viewing of vehicles:


Auction rules and regulations

Here’s some things to keep in mind if you plan to buy a vehicle:

  • You can’t just remove parts from the vehicle you buy and leave the rest at the tow lot.
  • Auctions are generally held on Saturdays. If you buy a vehicle, you need to remove it from the tow lot by 3 p.m. on the following Monday.
  • If you don’t remove the vehicle in time, you will lose the money you paid for the vehicle, along with the vehicle itself. We’ll declare the vehicle abandoned again, and you’ll be liable for any fines and fees.
  • The Boston police sell vehicles “AS IS.” If there are any issues with the car, we are not responsible for fixing them. There are no warranties.
  • To buy a car, you need to be at least 18 and pre-register before the auction. We’ll need to see a valid state issued ID.
  • If we don’t sell a vehicle at an auction, we may try to re-auction it in the future.
  • All vehicles we auction off get a Massachusetts title. If you want to register the vehicle in another state, you still first have to apply for a title in Massachusetts at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
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