A BMW with ‘COVID19’ number plates has mysteriously been left in a carpark at Adelaide Airport.
ABC News reported the vehicle has potentially been there since "February or even earlier”.
A spokesman for Adelaide Airport was unable to confirm exactly how long the car had been abandoned, but told CarAdvice the 2009 BMW 5 Series sedan is not parked illegally or currently accumulating fines.
It is believed the vehicle is in a staff car park at the facility.
Steven Spry, an airport employee interviewed by ABC News, speculated the owner "might be a long-haul pilot who has gone overseas and can't get back."
When asked if the owner of the vehicle had been stranded overseas after lockdown measures were introduced in March, the airport's spokesman replied "interstate".
The representative was unable to divulge further details about how the car came to be left there, but confirmed the airport has been in contact with the owner.
The vehicle is registered until September 26 of this year, according to an online registration check.
The coronavirus was not officially given the COVID–19 tag by the World Health Organisation until February 11 of this year.
In South Australia, all custom number plates must be approved by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, who take at least 10 days to process applications.
The State’s road authority – the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure – charges $200 per year for custom plates with up to six characters.
Plates with seven characters, such as those on the BMW, cost $255 per year.
The perplexing case comes just weeks after multiple states announced their intention to clamp down on offensive, or otherwise inappropriate, custom numberplates.
A Facebook user last month claimed he was knocked back by Queensland Transport when he requested plates that suggested his car was "quick".
And Victorian motorist Peter Hansen was told by VicRoads the number plates 'WEPN' (weapon) – which had been fitted to his 1971 Holden LC Torana for a decade – would be need to be surrendered.
Transport for NSW spokesperson also said personalised number plates were being monitored for combinations that use offensive language, promote unsafe driving or drinking, or are of a religious, violent, explicit or sexual nature.
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