What is an abandoned vehicle?
An abandoned car or other vehicle is one that its owner has left without intending to return for it.
Over 90% of the reports that we receive are for vehicles that are not abandoned.
A vehicle which hasn’t moved for a period of time isn’t usually abandoned. Motorists have the right to leave a legally parked vehicle on the public highway for as long as necessary (if they comply with parking controls, tax and insurance).
You should not report a vehicle as abandoned just because it is:
- untaxed (see the section below Untaxed, SORN or without MOT)
- taking up a parking space
- outside your property
- in poor condition
- illegally parked
We will not get involved in any neighbour disputes about vehicles parked outside your property.
Vehicles that are untaxed, SORN or without MOT
You can check if a car has tax on the GOV.UK website
You should report an untaxed vehicle on a public road to the DVLA on the DVLA website
You can check if a car has an MOT or has been declared off the road (SORN) on the GOV.UK website.
If a vehicle doesn’t have an MOT and is being used on a public road, you should report this to the Police by calling 101.
Vehicles that are dangerously parked, causing an obstruction or burnt out
The Police can remove any vehicle that
- has been left in a dangerous position
- has been burnt out
- is in breach of local traffic regulation orders
- is causing an obstruction on a public road
Please contact the Police on the non-emergency number 101 if you believe that a vehicle meets these criteria.
Report an abandoned vehicle
Before you report a vehicle as abandoned, you need to check that at least three of these statements are true:
- It is untaxed
- It has been stationary for a long time (more than 6 weeks)
- The vehicle is significantly damaged or un-roadworthy (such as flat tyres, broken windows or broken mirrors)
- There is litter around the vehicle, greenery is growing around it or the grass is wilted under the vehicle, indicating that it may not have moved for a long time
- There is mould inside or outside the vehicle
- The number plates are missing
You will need this information when you report a vehicle you think is abandoned:
- If the vehicle is taxed
- The location of the vehicle
- The vehicle’s registration
- The make, model and colour of the vehicle
- How long the vehicle has been stationary for
What happens next?
We will assess the information you give us and decide if the vehicle meets the criteria for being abandoned. We will not take any further action if we feel the vehicle is not abandoned.
If the vehicle meets our criteria for being abandoned, we will take the appropriate action to deal with it. This includes:
- assessing the vehicle
- tracing the owner
- writing to the owner
- issuing a notice
- arranging to remove the vehicle
Please note, we will not disclose information about the registered keeper.