Abandoned Vehicles

Roads, Highways and Pavements

The Council operates a service for the reporting of vehicles that may have been abandoned on the highway or publicly accessible land.

To report an abandoned vehicle please complete the online form

What is an abandoned vehicle?

It is a motorised vehicle that is intended or adapted for use on the road and includes any trailer chassis or body that can be attached to a vehicle, that the owner has left with no intention of returning to it.

The council will investigate an alleged abandoned vehicle if it has the following characteristics:

  • Poor condition
  • Vandalised

The authority has the powers to deal with any vehicle in the open air, however on private land permission has to be sought from the landowner before it can be removed.

If a vehicle is causing an obstruction or in a dangerous position on the highway, burnt out or is thought to have been involved in crime please report it to the Police.

Vehicles should not be reported as abandoned to resolve a neighbourhood dispute.

Vehicle owners could be liable for a fixed penalty notice for £200 or prosecution for abandoning their vehicle. Knowingly abandoning a vehicle is a criminal offence and if found guilty in court, this will result in a criminal record for the vehicle owner/registered keeper.

How to report an abandoned vehicle:

Please contact us on 01785 619401 with the following details:

  • Make and model (e.g. Ford Mondeo)
  • Colour
  • Registration number
  • Location
  • General condition of vehicle

An authorised officer from the Environmental Enforcement team will then investigate the matter and determine whether the vehicle has been abandoned and deal with it accordingly.

How do we decide if a vehicle is abandoned?

We can determine if a vehicle has been abandoned by applying the following criteria:

  • Amount of time the vehicle has been left in situ
  • Overall condition, age and appearance of the vehicle
  • Whether there is valid road tax, insurance and an MOT in place
  • If there is a number plate
  • Security, or:
  • If the vehicle has a significant amount of rubbish or waste inside and looks untidy

Please be aware that there could be legitimate reasons why a car has been left somewhere, i.e.

  • The owner of the vehicle could be visiting a friend or relative
  • The owner could have suddenly been taken ill or gone into hospital 
  • The owner is on holiday and left the car at a different location, or:
  • The vehicle has broken down 

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