Abandoned Cars in Hawaii

In Hawaii, it’s easier to dump your old car by the side of the road than it is to have it legally disposed of, an attitude that’s causing big headaches for the authorities. Every year, the state spends hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to tow away abandoned vehicles, and there are still hundreds of them rotting in the fields and among the trees. Hawaii is full of transplants who are constantly moving on and off the islands. When people leave Hawaii for the mainland, they often leave their cars behind because it’s more economical. The proper procedure is either to sell the car or have it junked, but most people don’t want to go through the horrendous process implemented by the DMV. Selling a car requires three documents — registration, safety inspection and title — and acquiring these documents is difficult, expensive and time consuming. In addition, sellers must jump through countless hoops and navigate a maze of absurd rules. To make matters worse, some islands are running out of space to dump cars, leading to an increasing number of roadside clunkers that are destroying the islands’ beauty. Honolulu began offering disposal of junked cars for free several years ago in an attempt to reduce the number of abandoned vehicles, but not many other islands are willing to foot the bill.