Cars with Russian license plates parked at Helsinki Airport may become the property of the city of Vantaa if their owners do not retrieve them by mid-March next year, according to Yle.
Jukka Isomäki, the Director of Parking at Finavia, explained that payment for parking is made upon exit, and cars can be parked for weeks or months, depending on how long their owners are away. In the event that a car is abandoned and Finavia cannot contact the owner, the city of Vantaa’s parking service will impound the vehicle, and ownership rights will transfer to the city authorities.
Journalists from the publication counted 78 cars with Russian license plates in the airport’s parking lots, including a €300,000 Mercedes Benz GLE 63s AMG and a €200,000 Porsche Cayenne GTS. However, fewer than ten of these vehicles were parked in the P1 and P2 areas closer to the terminal, where parking fees are the highest (€186 and €136 per week, respectively).
Most of the Russian cars are in the P3 and P5 areas, where parking costs €79 and €88 per week, respectively. Judging by the layer of dust, some have been waiting for their owners for several months, the report stated.
The number of Russian cars has significantly decreased since last year when Finnish journalists discovered an “impressive fleet” of Russian vehicles at the airport.
It is noted that cars are rarely abandoned in the airport parking lots, and such cases are rare. However, there was a case with a BMW 745iA from the United States on a private parking lot near the airport. The owner paid for parking consistently for several years but, after eight years, declared that he no longer needed the car, leaving no keys behind. The car was towed to the Vantaa depot and later put up for auction, according to the newspaper Iltalehti.
Finland closed its borders to passenger cars registered in Russia on September 16 and set a six-month deadline for cars with Russian license plates to be exported from the country. The deadline expires on March 16, 2024.