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Abandoned vehicles

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Cars or other forms of transport, such as vans or motorbikes, that have been illegally dumped qualify as abandoned vehicles. These can pose a danger to the environment and the community.

You can report them to us to be removed. 

We are obliged to remove abandoned vehicles from any land in the open air, including private land, and roads, including private roads.

It is an offence to abandon a motor vehicle or vehicle parts on any land in the open air, or on any land forming part of the highway.

This can result in a fine up to £2,500 or a three-month prison sentence.

Suspecting a vehicle has been abandoned

Before you report an abandoned vehicle to us, check that it doesn't belong to a neighbour, or someone visiting a neighbour or local business.  

A vehicle can be parked on any public road or highway, provided the vehicle has the following:

  • a registered owner or keeper 
  • valid vehicle tax 
  • valid MOT certificate 
  • insurance

Occasionally there are situations where a vehicle may still be investigated or classed as an abandoned vehicle.

Report an abandoned vehicle

If you suspect a vehicle has been abandoned and cannot confirm who owns it, you can report it to us by using the online form below.

You can also can report it by calling customer services on 023 8028 5000.

You should try to provide us with as much information as possible about the vehicle, including:

  • make, model and colour 
  • registration number 
  • location of the vehicle, such as street name, area or postcode 
  • how long the vehicle has been there

If the abandoned vehicle you have reported to us subsequently moves, let us know to help us avoid making unnecessary visits to investigate. 

Burnt-out vehicles 

Do not touch burnt-out vehicles. The police may want to investigate burnt-out vehicles as a criminal offence first, but we will remove it after they have finished.   

Removing abandoned vehicles

If a vehicle is reported to us as abandoned, we will visit the location and investigate.

To provide evidence that the vehicle is abandoned we will monitor the vehicle at its location for a period of time before we then decide on the next appropriate course of action.

Our options include:

  • removing the vehicle
  • writing to the last registered keeper asking them to contact us
  • writing to the landowner
  • taking no further action if we have established the vehicle is not abandoned

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