Several dealerships ‘not complying’ with crackdown on illegally parked auto carriers

The City of Charleston’s attempt to crackdown on illegally parked auto carriers on Savannah Highway continues.
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 10:58 PM EDT|Updated: May. 20, 2023 at 1:48 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston’s attempt to crackdown on illegally parked auto carriers on Savannah Highway continues.

City officials said although the problem is improving, a few dealerships are still not complying. They said illegally parked auto carriers in the median of Savannah Highway or along the local neighborhood streets create a “huge” safety concern.

“It creates a very serious safety issue as well as a traffic impediment that really complicates the life of West Ashley residents,” District 11 Councilman Ross Appel said.

Appel said complaints about illegally parked auto carriers are one of the biggest complaints he hears from neighborhoods along Savannah Highway. He says on top of the safety issue, it also backs up traffic on an already busy highway.

“I’m not hating on these guys, but we’ve got to make sure that we operate these businesses in a manner that’s safe for everybody and that we comply with both state and local ordinances,” Appel said.

City officials said just over a month ago they delivered a letter to each dealership warning them to tell their drivers to park on their properties when delivering cars, not in the median or on a side street.

“Most of the dealerships are complying. We do have a few that are not complying,” Dan Riccio, the City of Charleston’s Director of Livability and Tourism.

Hudson Nissan of Charleston, Palmetto Ford, Hendrick Volvo Cars Charleston and Rick Hendrick Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM were all issued final warnings two days ago after “repeated warnings,” according to the city.

City Officials said Baker Motors is the only dealership that has been issued a court summons, which is a step further than the others.

We reached out to each dealership for a comment.

A spokesperson for Baker Motors said they acknowledge the court summons and are doing the best they can to be in total compliance with the initiative. He said they have asked drivers to deliver on their property and don’t know what more they can do.

Palmetto Ford provided the following statement:

Most car haulers are contracted by the manufacturer - NOT the dealer. We (dealers) do our best to make sure drivers are aware that they are to turn into our property to deliver vehicles. I would say MOST do - especially ones that have delivered here before. We have dedicated space on our property where they are able to unload and then drive back off the property. In very few cases, where a NEW driver is delivering products, they may not be aware of our policy on where to offload. Again, the dealer really has no responsibility on who hires these drivers and seldom do we know when a truck will deliver a load of vehicles.

The warnings or citations should be given to the car haulers NOT the dealer.

Lastly, we have been doing business on Savannah Highway for 37 years - 37. Never been an issue at Palmetto until the past couple months. Has something changed?

The other three dealerships declined to comment.