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Abandoned vehicles

What is an abandoned vehicle?

You can report any vehicle which appears to be abandoned on the highway or on private land without permission.

This could include a car, van, motorcycle, trailer or caravan. 

These are some of the signs that might mean a vehicle is abandoned:

  • no registered keeper
  • no tax or MOT
  • stationary for a significant amount of time
  • significantly damaged, run down or unroadworthy
  • flat tyres, missing wheels or broken windows
  • filled with waste, missing number plates, not locked
  • burnt out

We cannot class a vehicle as abandoned for being untaxed unless there are other signs of abandonment. 
You should report untaxed vehicles to the DVLA

Vehicles that we cannot investigate

  • has been stationary for less than 6 weeks (unless burnt out or significantly damaged)
  • has current tax and MOT (unless burnt out or significantly damaged)
  • is legally parked on the highway with no other signs of abandonment
  • is a nuisance because of where or how it is parked
  • is parked on private land with the permission of the landowner

Before you report a vehicle as abandoned

Consider the following:

  • could the owner be away?
  • has the vehicle broken down?
  • ask neighbours - they may know who the vehicle belongs to if there is an owner

Take the following actions:

Vehicles on social housing land

If the vehicle is on Social Housing land (for example, a communal car park) please contact the Housing Association. Only continue with this report if you are not satisfied with their response.

Landlords and managing agents (including Registered Social Landlords or ‘Housing Associations’)

If a vehicle has been left on land that you own or manage:

How we investigate abandoned vehicle reports

  • We will inspect the vehicle if the information in your report suggests it may be abandoned.
  • If we think it's abandoned, we may put a notice on it or send a letter to the registered keeper.
  • If we don’t think it is abandoned, we will let you know
  • If the owner doesn’t contact us or move the abandoned vehicle, we can remove it to a secure place.
  • If the vehicle is on private land we first need the landowner’s consent (15-day notice period to the landowner).
  • If an abandoned vehicle is a danger to the public we may be able to remove it straight away.

Report an abandoned vehicle

Please read this webpage before reporting a vehicle as abandoned. We cannot accept reports if:

  • you provide anonymous or false contact details
  • you are not able to provide the requested details on the vehicle or the precise location
  • you report a vehicle which we cannot investigate for the reasons explained above

During the report process you can provide us with photographs of the vehicle (upload). This can help speed up the process of investigating the vehicle.

Please only take photographs when safe to do so. Make sure that you are away from hazards such as passing traffic.

You can upload up to 5 images. Each image must be less than 15mb.  Please include photographs of the following:

  • The entire vehicle including the surroundings – so we can also see the area around the vehicle
  • The vehicle from the front – so we can see the windscreen, bonnet, and number plate
  • The vehicle from the rear – so we can see the rear window, boot, and number plate
  • The vehicle from one side – so we can see the windows, doors etc
  • A closer view of a tyre (showing this is flat, rusty disc brakes, or similar)

Report an abandoned vehicle

Abandoned Vehicle Data

We have collated a list of reports about abandoned vehicles over the last three financial years and quarter one to quarter four of 2023-2024.

Requests we received about abandoned vehicles

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