Abandoned Vehicles

Investigation and Removal of Abandoned Vehicles

 The Council has a statutory duty under the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 to remove any motor vehicle, which appears to be abandoned on any land, or highway, in the open air.  The vehicle when abandoned without lawful authority will be removed and disposed of and the last known keeper will be sent a Fixed Penalty Notice for £200.00 payable within fourteen days.

The term "vehicle" in this context means a motor vehicle or trailer or anything which forms part of a motor vehicle or trailer including any item contained within it.

What is an Abandoned Vehicle? 

Definition of "Abandoned"       
There is no legal definition of 'abandoned' - Council officers must decide in each case whether a vehicle is abandoned. However, the following characteristics are generally common to abandoned vehicles and one or a combination of the following will be taken into account when deciding whether a vehicle is abandoned:-

  • Untaxed, with no current vehicle keeper on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's (DVLA) record;
  • Stationary for a significant amount of time.
  • Significantly damaged, run down or un-roadworthy.
  • Burnt out

 What We Do

  • Respond to complaints and representations regarding abandoned vehicles.
  • Issue Fixed Penalty Notice for £200.00 to the last know keeper of the vehicle.
  • Where a vehicle is considered by the Council to be abandoned the Council will remove and store the vehicle for up to ten days depending on the condition.
  • Recover costs incurred in removing storing and disposing from the owners or the owner responsible for abandoning the vehicle.

What is Not an Abandoned Vehicle?

  • Badly parked or obstructive vehicles;
  • Road traffic accident vehicles awaiting recovery;
  • Broken down vehicles;
  • Not having a current vehicle excise licence (is not sufficient grounds to decide that a vehicle is abandoned) these should be reported to the DVLA.
  • Untaxed vehicles, which are being used or repaired on the highway these should be reported to the DVLA.

The above are the responsibility of the police.

The DVLA telephone number is 0300 790 6802.

Additional contact details for the DVLA.

How Do I Report an Abandoned Vehicle?

First you should find out if the vehicle is taxed or not and this can be done very quickly and easily by checking on the DVLA website.

Check a vehicle's tax status 

If the vehicle is taxed

If the vehicle is taxed, it would NOT generally be considered to be abandoned. Sometimes vehicles may not move from a certain location for a long period of time because the owner has decided for whatever reason not to use the vehicle.

If the vehicle is untaxed and parked on a public road, you can report it to the DVLA.

If the vehicle is SORN

A SORN vehicle should not be left on the public road and should be reported to DVLA.

If the vehicle is SORN and parked on the public highway, it should be treated in the same way as an untaxed vehicle and reported to DVLA.

To report a suspected abandoned vehicle please ring Customer Service on 01229 876543.

What Happens Next?

If a vehicle is deemed to be abandoned, an enforcement officer will have the vehicle removed.  After the storage period, if the owner has not reclaimed the vehicle it will be disposed of.