Abandoned vehicles

What should I do if I think I've found an abandoned vehicle?

Is the vehicle abandoned?

It is no longer a legal requirement to display tax on the windscreen. A car parked in the road, e.g. outside your house, for a few days is probably not abandoned. It’s worth checking to see if its taxed.

If a vehicle is taxed, it can be parked on the road and may not be abandoned. However, if it's obstructing an access point, you should contact the police.

A vehicle that isn't taxed, but doesn't appear abandoned, should be reported to the DVLA, as should a vehicle which has a statutory off road notice (SORN) but remains on the public highway.

A vehicle that looks roadworthy, in good condition, and has a visible number plate may have been stolen, so you should report it to the police on 101.

A vehicle that doesn’t look roadworthy (eg has broken windows, missing tyres) may have been abandoned so you should report it to us.

What does the council do with abandoned vehicles?

If we agree that the vehicle appears to be abandoned, we aim to remove it after 7 days (15 days if it’s on private land) after attempting to contact the last registered owner.

If it’s in a dangerous condition, we can remove it within 24 hours.

If the vehicle is claimed by the register keeper we are unable to take any further action.

How can I scrap my vehicle?

See the DVLA website for advice on getting rid of an unwanted vehicle.

What’s the penalty for abandoning a vehicle?

It’s against the law to dump a vehicle. We can fine you £2,000, and the DVLA may pursue you for owed vehicle excise duty (car tax).


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