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Abandoning a vehicle is an offence under the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978. A fine of up to £2,500 may be imposed as well as a custodial sentence in some cases.

A fixed penalty notice of £150 can be issued to the owner as an alternative to prosecution.

The owner must pay the costs incurred by us in removing, storing or destroying the vehicle.

Removing an abandoned vehicle is a matter for us or the police.

Police responsibility

The police are responsible for removing the vehicle if:

  • it is causing an obstruction on the highway 
  • there is evidence that it may have been stolen 
  • the vehicle has been burnt out

You can call the police on 101 to report an abandoned vehicle that fits this description.

Our responsibility

If the vehicle does not fit the description above but you suspect it has been abandoned you can report it to us.

An abandoned vehicle: 

  • has no registered owner 
  • is causing a hazard or safety issue
  • is burnt out 
  • is taxed but badly damaged with flat tyres, missing wheels or broken windows 
  • has been untaxed for at least a month and unmoved on a public road for at least two months

Before we can remove an abandoned vehicle:

  • we must try to contact the owner
  • we will leave a warning notice on the vehicle for 7 days to say it will be removed if no one claims it.

Where we cannot help

We have no power to remove untaxed vehicles that are being used or have a known owner.

Vehicle tax offences should be reported to the DVLA. 

If the abandoned vehicle is on your property you must:

You can report a vehicle once you have done this.

Report an abandoned vehicle

You can give us information about the vehicle including the: 

  • make 
  • model 
  • licence plate  
  • colour 
  • location

Claim a vehicle

You can call us 01454 868000 if a notice has been put on your vehicle. We can tell you why the vehicle was considered to have been abandoned. 

You will need to pay a statutory fee for the vehicle to be released and decide how to recover the vehicle if it not road legal.  

Charges start at £150 and increase every day a vehicle is stored.

Vehicles removed by the police are disposed of immediately. 

Invoice received for a vehicle you no longer own

If you have received an invoice for a vehicle you no longer own you must:

  • notify DVLA of a change of ownership 
  • let us know in writing and include the name and address of the person who took possession of the vehicle with any evidence that may support your case

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