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What is an abandoned vehicle?

An abandoned vehicle is one that appears not to be in use and has been stationary for a period of time, usually 4 weeks or more. We can remove abandoned vehicles from public land and all roads.

Just because a vehicle is in poor condition and/or out of tax does not necessarily mean that it is abandoned and therefore additional enquiries may have to be made to establish whether or not the vehicle is abandoned before we can remove it.

A vehicle can be classed as abandoned if it:

  • is untaxed and not in use
  • has no registered keeper
  • is parked in the same place for a long period of time (weeks not days)
  • is significantly damaged or unroadworthy - (flat tyres, wheels removed or broken windows)
  • has missing number plates 

Please note the above are generally common to abandoned vehicles, although not all of the reasons may necessarily have to apply.

Burnt out, obstructive or dangerously parked vehicles must be reported to the police on 101 as they can arrange for the vehicle to be dealt with immediately, irrespective of whether the vehicle is taxed or not,

Abandoning a vehicle is a criminal offence. If found guilty of the offence of abandoning a vehicle in a magistrates court, a person may be punished on summary on conviction with a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale (currently £2,500), or a term not exceeding three months imprisonment (possibly to be raised to 51 weeks), or both.

However, we have the authority to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 In accordance with Section 2A(1) Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 in order to avoid court proceedings. 

Any costs incurred by us in removing a vehicle will be passed to the registered keeper, in accordance with the Removal, Storage, and Disposal of Vehicles (Prescribed Sums and Charges etc) Regulations 1989 as amended.

Reporting an abandoned vehicle

You may want to find out whether a vehicle is taxed or not by contacting the DVLA before reporting it to us. Not all untaxed vehicles are abandoned, and if a vehicle is taxed it’s not generally considered to be abandoned.

If the vehicle is untaxed, parked on a public road, and being used, you can report it to the DVLA. We will not take action if this is the case.

Check a vehicle’s tax status with the DVLA 

Report an untaxed vehicle

When you report an abandoned vehicle we will inspect the vehicle. If we believe it’s been abandoned we will begin an investigation and efforts will be made to contact the registered keeper before the vehicle is removed. We cannot remove vehicles from private land without the permission of the landowner. This includes land of which is owned by housing associations.

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