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Abandoned vehicles

We have a statutory duty to deal with vehicles that are alleged to be abandoned on the highway and other land owned by us.

What can the council do?

We also have some limited powers to remove vehicles from private land.

Unfortunately removing abandoned vehicles is a long, drawn-out procedure laid down by legislation. This forbids us from instantly removing a vehicle we believe is abandoned. Vehicles that are found to be in a fair or reasonably good condition have to be traced through the police and the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).

If the police or DVLA are able to give us a registered owner of an abandoned vehicle, we are legally required to write to that person to check that the vehicle still belongs to them.

Our experience is that in around 90 per cent of cases the registered keeper is a previous owner who has since sold the vehicle onto another party. The vehicle has not been re-registered and therefore remains in the previous keeper's name. This ultimately wastes an awful lot of time - but it is a process we have to go through.

Once we have checked the registered owner we serve a notice on the vehicle and only when the notice expires can we legally remove the vehicle for final disposal and scrap.

In certain cases, where vehicles that have been reported are found to be in a dangerous condition (for example burnt out), we can speed up the process.

If the vehicle you are reporting is causing a hazard to other road users by way of its condition or because of where it is parked, or is untaxed or run illegally, please report it directly to the Police as the Council has no powers to deal with these problems.

Abandoning a vehicle is an offence carrying a penalty of £2,500 and/or 3 months imprisonment.

We urge you to report the details of any vehicle you consider abandoned at your earliest convenience -  the sooner you inform us, the sooner we can remove it!

If you would like to report such a vehicle, please complete the online form below.

Reporting an untaxed vehicle which is not abandoned

If you wish to report a vehicle which is being used without a valid tax disc please contact the Department of Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) (external link) or telephone 0800 325 202.

Retrieving an abandoned vehicle

If your vehicle has been removed by us you can arrange to retrieve it by contacting us. Once you contact us we will advise you of the costs involved and issue a release note.

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