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Abandoned vehicles


If a vehicle is causing an obstruction or is parked dangerously you need to report this to the Police on 101 not the Council.

The Council does have the power to order the removal of any vehicle which appears to have been abandoned but this has to fit the criteria below.

This applies to any vehicle which has been abandoned on any open land or part of a highway.

How we work out if a vehicle is abandoned

A vehicles can be viewed as being abandoned if at least one of the following applies:

  • they have been stationary for a significant amount of time
  • they are significantly run down, unroadworthy, seriously damaged or burnt out
  • there are flat tyres, wheels removed or broken windows
  • they are untaxed
  • they have number plates missing
  • they have no keeper on the DVLA's database

Can you remove vehicles causing an obstruction?

If a vehicle is causing an obstruction or is parked dangerously you need to report this to the Police on 101.

How to report an abandoned vehicle

To report an abandoned vehicle complete the following online form:

Report an abandoned vehicle

What to include

When submitting the form please include:

  • how long the vehicle has been there
  • a brief description of its condition
  • the vehicle location, make, model, colour and registration number
  • has the vehicle got valid road tax and MOT, please check these details on GOV.UK - Check Vehicle Tax.

Failure to comply with a removal notice allows the Council to impound and dispose of the vehicle. The power also applies to vehicles abandoned on private land subject to enquiries being made with the landowner.

What happens next?

If the vehicle has been abandoned on a highway it could be impounded without any notice being given. However, in general practice a 24 hour removal notice is attached to the vehicle. Failure to remove the vehicle will allow the Council to impound it.

If the vehicle has been abandoned on public land in the open air - we will issue a 7 day removal notice. Failure to remove the vehicle will allow the Council to impound it.

The removal of vehicles from private land carries more restrictions. Immediate enforcement action would generally only be considered where the land owner has no connection to the vehicle.

If the landowner refuses to deal with the removal of the vehicle, a notice can be served requiring them to remove the car within 15 days.

What happens to the vehicle?

Vehicles abandoned on a highway without valid tax can be scrapped immediately.

DVLA checks will be carried out with a view to contacting the owner. If the vehicle is unregistered then it can be immediately scrapped.

If the vehicle ownership is registered - we will send a seizure notice to the owner. If at the end of this notice period the vehicle is unclaimed, we can dispose of it.

Are there any costs?

Any owner wishing to reclaim the vehicle would be required to pay any expenses incurred in the recovery and storage of the vehicle.

In some circumstances the owners of abandoned vehicles can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecuted in the Magistrates Court.

Dispose of an old car

Information on how to scrap your vehicle is available on GOV.UK - Scrapping Your Vehicle.

Car owners are entitled to "free take-back" of their old vehicles, known as End of Life Vehicles (ELVs), for more information see GOV.UK - ELVs.

Car manufacturers have established national networks of existing facilities that will accept their own brands when those vehicles reach the end of their lives. These regulations mean car owners don't need to pay to dispose of their vehicles.

Scrapi offers a scrap my car service or if your car is still roadworthy you could donate your car to charity through Give a car or Charity car.

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