Abandoned Vehicles and Scrap

abandoned vehiclesIf you suspect that a vehicle (e.g. car, motorbike, trailer, lorry) has been abandoned by its owner on a public road or in any other public place then the Council may be able to have it removed. 

An abandoned vehicle is any vehicle which the owner no longer wants that has been left on open land to which the public have access.

A vehicle may have been abandoned if: 

  • It no longer has a keeper

  • It has been stationary for a significant amount of time (e.g. more than a few days)

  • It has considerable damage and has been there for a significant amount of time (e.g. burnt out, broken windows, flat tyres, or in poor condition).
  • Number plates are missing

Note - if a vehicle has recently been left and has been set on fire or damaged it may have been stolen. This should be reported to the Police or Fire Service (if on fire).

Vehicles may be scrapped once they are no longer roadworthy. Consider contacting a scrap dealer who may pay you to remove your vehicle. There are certain notification requirements when scrapping a vehicle.

For nuisance parking, where there is a persistent issue affecting your quality of life, drivers who park irresponsibly and drivers who wilfully obstruct property or roads, Please refer to Nuisance Parking.

Councils are able to enforce regulations where parking restrictions exist. In other words, if there are no regulations in place but vehicles are parked in a dangerous position or in circumstances that cause an obstruction, then the Police will deal.

If you find yourself blocked in and there is urgency for you to have clear access then please contact the police on 101.


  • A vehicle is parked on the road which is in poor condition, has not moved for several weeks.

    Solution: Contact the local council who have a responsibility to remove vehicles from a carriageway.

  • Your neighbour has a vehicle abandoned on their driveway which has not moved for several months and has a flat tyre.

    Solution: Contact your local council who may investigate the circumstances.
  • There is an abandoned vehicle in the overgrown woods near my house.

    Solution: Notify the local council. Authorities don’t have to remove abandoned vehicles if the cost of moving them to the nearest highway is unreasonably high (e.g. special machinery is needed)


Who deals with this?

  • Councils must remove abandoned vehicles from both land in the open air and roads.

  • National Park Authorities – responsibilities for removing abandoned vehicles from National Parks.

  • If you suspect a vehicle has no road tax, then use the following link to check if it has tax (remember vehicles no longer have to display a tax disc in the windscreen). https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax

  • To report an untaxed vehicle click on the below link to DVLA https://www.gov.uk/report-untaxed-vehicle

Contact Information

 Test link

Further Guidance

Local Authorities can issue a fixed penalty notice for minor offences or prosecute.

There is a legal procedure which the council must follow when dealing with abandoned vehicles. It is the registered keepers responsibility to keep untaxed SORN or accident damaged vehicles off the public highway. Councils can charge occupiers for removing vehicles from occupied land. Councils must give land owners 15 days notice and can only remove vehicles with their permission

Dated: 04 Jul 2016