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Abandoned vehicles

Abandoning a vehicle is a criminal offence. It carries a penalty upon conviction of a fine of up to £2,500, 3 months imprisonment, or both. 

Report an abandoned vehicle

If a vehicle (like a car, van or motorbike for example) is blocking your parking space at your home, or is in a dangerous position you’ll need to contact the police if you want the vehicle to be moved.

We are unable to deal with vehicles that are not taxed or have an invalid MOT. We will only investigate and take action if a vehicle has been left for at least 21 days, and we are sure it has been given up or abandoned.

After the 21 days, we’ll put a notice on the vehicle for the keeper to get in touch with us within 14 days. We will carry out an inspection to check whether the vehicle can stay there for the 14 days or if it needs to be moved. We’ll also take photos of the vehicle, make a note of items inside it, and do a DVLA search to find out who the keeper of the vehicle is so a letter about the Notice can be sent to them.

After the 14 days, if the vehicle hasn’t moved, and the keeper does not get in touch with us, then we’ll let the police know and will arrange for the vehicle to be removed. We will remove any vehicle after the 14 days have passed if it has not been claimed or removed by the keeper. It will then be stored for a further 21 days by our contractors.

Report an abandoned vehicle

Report an abandoned vehicle by using our online reporting service.

We accept reports from members of the public, police or owners of land. This can be about vehicles abandoned on the highway, private roads or property, or council-managed property. Any issues can be reported anonymously.

We will need the following information to process the report, which will include:

  • where the vehicle is
  • colour
  • registration number  
  • make and model
  • the vehicle's general condition
  • how long the vehicle has been at the site for

Fees that apply for handling abandoned vehicles 

Fees for removing and disposing (scrapping) of vehicles would need to be paid to our contractors directly and not us. You’ll need to provide proof that you own the vehicle when you go to collect it, or if you want the vehicle to be delivered to you.

The fees for handling, removal and disposal are: 

  • collection of vehicle - £150 
  • storage per day of vehicle - £21
  • delivery of vehicle to owner - £100
  • disposal of vehicle - No fee is charged for this

Spotting an abandoned vehicle

When determining if a vehicle has been abandoned, some things to consider are: 

  • are any of the tyres flat, or are any of the wheels missing?
  • is there litter or any other sign under the vehicle indicating that it has not moved for some time?
  • is the windscreen or any of the windows broken?
  • is there any mould on either the inside or outside of the vehicle?
  • does the vehicle contain waste items, including tyres, old newspapers, or general rubbish?
  • does the vehicle have number plates?

Vandalism or stolen vehicles

If the vehicle has clearly been vandalised by someone or hot wired (stolen and driven without keys by connecting ignition wires - a common sign of this would be wires hanging from the dashboard), then this should be reported to the Police. Vandalism of a vehicle might include:

  • dents in bodywork
  • graffiti
  • removal of bumpers/spoilers
  • inside vandalism such as stealing a radio or slashed seat covers