Clearance of abandoned vehicles

The problem with abandoned vehicles….

They have a negative impact on the environment, look unsightly and can lower the quality of life in neighbourhoods. They can be the result of, or lead to crime, take up valuable parking space, become dangerous when vandalised and fill up with waste. Dangerous fluids can leak from the vehicle and there is a risk of injury especially to children.

Abandoned vehicles often get confused the nuisance vehicles. An abandoned vehicle is always a nuisance but a nuisance vehicle is not always abandoned. A good example of a nuisance vehicle is one which is untaxed but illegally in use. They are often uninsured and without an MOT test certificate.

For more information about how to report an untaxed vehicle which is not abandoned and being used illegally.

How to report an abandoned vehicle

Is the vehicle really abandoned?

  • Has it moved recently (within a week)?
  • Are any tyres deflated or have parts been removed?
  • Does it look in poor condition or is it being vandalised?
  • Is there rubbish inside?
  • Is there a current tax disc displayed? A vehicle can still be abandoned with a valid tax disc.

If you are concerned that a vehicle has been abandoned, please write down the following before contacting us as below:

  1. Exact location (use a house number if appropriate)
  2. Make, model and colour
  3. Registration number
  4. Condition of vehicle
  5. How long has it been there?

Report an abandoned vehicle

The Council's role

The Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 states that a vehicle is abandoned "where it appears to a local authority that a motor vehicle in their area is abandoned without lawful authority". As a result, a vehicle is only deemed abandoned when our authorised officer decides that it is abandoned.

We try to respond to all reports within 2 working days. With all confirmed cases, we will investigate the circumstances and attempt to find the current keeper of the vehicle. We may also need to do follow up enquiries to establish the history of the vehicle and where it has been. For vehicles found on private land we will serve a 15 day notice of removal to the landowner.

Vehicles that we remove are done so only by the Council's official contractor who carries ID at all times. No unauthorised persons must remove vehicles under our investigation.

How to reclaim a vehicle removed by the Council

In order to reclaim a vehicle impounded by us, you will need the DVLA Vehicle Registration Document (V5) which shows your name and current address, and a second proof of identity showing your name and current address. Once we are satisfied you are the registered keeper, we will notify our contractor to release your vehicle on payment of the following charges:

  • £105.00 to release the vehicle
  • £12.00 per day storage fee

These charges are set by government regulation.

You have 7 days in which to pay all outstanding charges and collect the vehicle from our contractor. If you fail to remove the vehicle within 7 days, it will be destroyed and you may be prosecuted for abandoning a vehicle.

To reclaim your vehicle please contact us as below.

How to dispose of an unwanted vehicle

Please contact us and our contractor will discuss the arrangements with you.

There are also local dismantlers who will remove your unwanted vehicle. Remember, you must only use an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) and you should check with the dismantler as to where the vehicle will be processed. You can contact the Environment Agency via their website for information about ATFs.