Car issues

In this section:
Abandoned vehicles

Abandoned vehicles

Unwanted abandoned vehicles are those that have been left by the owner who has no intention to use it again.

Identifying abandoned vehicles

Just because a vehicle is poorly parked or doesn't belong to a nearby resident, it does not mean it's abandoned. It is for the council to decide if a vehicle is abandoned.

An abandoned vehicle will usually be untaxed, without an MOT (you can use the GOV.UK vehicle tax tool (opens new window) to check this) plus at least 1 of the following:

  • stationary for a significant amount of time 
  • in very poor condition, possibly damaged, run down or unroadworthy (for example, has flat tyres, missing wheels or broken windows, or is burnt out)
  • containing waste or rubbish
  • a number plate is missing.

Please note: Vehicles on private land can be inspected if requested by the landowner.

What isn't classed as an abandoned vehicle

The following are not considered abandoned vehicles and should be reported to the appropriate body/organisation:

How to report an abandoned vehicle

To report an abandoned vehicle, we need to know:

  • full picture of vehicle, showing the registration number (if the number plate is available) 
  • make, model, and colour
  • to know if the vehicle is taxed (using the GOV.UK vehicle tax tool (opens new window))
  • the exact location of the vehicle (nearest house number or junction)
  • any other useful information.

Report an abandoned vehicle

What happens next?

Our officer will contact the owner, where possible, to either remove the vehicle or claim it. If the owner cannot be traced, the vehicle may be towed away for a short period of storage before disposal. If the owner decides they want to recover the vehicle from the council's abandoned vehicle contractor (opens new window), they'll have to pay the collection and storage charges.

Vehicles that are burnt out or in a dangerously damaged condition may be removed immediately without prior notice to the owner.

Vehicles inspected and not considered abandoned will not normally be considered for re-inspection until they have been unmoved for at least 3 months from the date of the report.

Page last updated: 05 Feb 2024