Vehicles that have been abandoned on the roads, public or private land may cause a significant nuisance to the residents of that area. Both due to the parking spaces they may be taking up and also the unsightly nature of the abandoned vehicle.

What are the penalties for abandoning a vehicle?

A person who is subject to a criminal conviction for abandoning a vehicle will be liable for a maximum penalty of £2,500 or three months imprisonment or in some cases both.

Abandoned Vehicles

What to do if you spot an abandoned vehicle

1. Check if the vehicle is taxed

Check if a vehicle is taxed

If the vehicle is untaxed and parked on a public road, you can report it to the DVLA.

If the vehicle is taxed, it would NOT generally be considered to be abandoned. Sometimes vehicles may not move from a certain location for a long period of time because the owner has decided for whatever reason not to use the vehicle.

2. Is the vehicle SORN?

Check if a vehicle is SORN (declared as off the road)

A SORN vehicle should not be left on the public road and the DVLA is the only authority with the powers to remove.

A SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) vehicle should not be left on the public highway, it should be treated in the same way as an untaxed vehicle and you can report it to the DVLA.

3. Does the vehicle appear to have been involved in a Road Traffic Accident/Collision?

If the vehicle is taxed but appears to have been involved in a Road Traffic Accident/collision, it would NOT generally be considered to be abandoned. The owner would be expected to take action to get the vehicle removed.

4. Do you believe the vehicle has been abandoned?

If you believe the vehicle is in an abandoned state but is owned by a local resident/neighbour, no action can be taken by the Council as the vehicle is “owned”. Also, if the vehicle is parked on a public road where there are no parking restrictions, again no action can be taken as the vehicle is “owned” and not parked in contravention.

5. Report an abandoned vehicle

If you believe a vehicle to be abandoned you should report it to your local council providing as much information as possible paying particular attention to the following:

  • The location of the vehicle (what address is it parked outside or near to)
  • The make, model and colour of the vehicle
  • The registration number (if visible)
  • What is the condition of the vehicle?
  • If the vehicle is burnt out
  • The amount of time the vehicle has been there
  • Tax status

Report abandoned vehicles online

We can’t remove vehicles from private land without the permission of the landowner.