Helena City Council passes motion restricting vehicle sales

Citizens of Helena will no longer be allowed to privately sell vehicles without a permit, according to an ordinance passed by the Helena City Council Monday night.

Councilmember Cris Nelson said the move is intended to help local retail locations where citizens are leaving the cars, hoping they sell quickly in the prime spots.

She said citizens are placing “For Sale” signs on the car, taking them to parking lots or retail locations and leaving them for days at a time.

“It’s become a nuisance. If you drive by the Home Depot parking lot, you see a line of cars there to sell,” Nelson said. “It’s not fair to retail owners.”

Citizens can purchase licenses to sell vehicles from the city for $25. Cars for sale can be placed on the seller’s driveway or property, but cannot be placed on private or public property. Citizens who violate the ordinance are subject to fines.

Nelson said the ordinance would also help local car dealers, who must purchase permits and licenses before going into business.

“Used car dealerships have to abide by the rules. They have to deal with permits and licenses all the time,” she said. “It’s just something to even up the playing field a little bit.”

The ordinance will go into effect next week.