Abandoned vehicles

We have a duty to remove abandoned vehicles. The decision as to whether a vehicle is abandoned is taken by an authorised Council Officer. Abandoning a vehicle is an offence under the Refuse disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 and carries a maximum fine of £2,500 and/or 3 months imprisonment.

Who is responsible for removing the abandoned vehicle

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

Police responsibility

The police will be responsible for removing the vehicle if:

  • it's causing an obstruction on the highway
  • it's suspicious and may have been stolen
  • the vehicle has been burnt out

If this fits the description of the vehicle you think has been abandoned then please call the police on 101 to report it.

Our responsibility

If the vehicle does not fall into any of the categories above and you suspect it to be abandoned, please report it to us. 

Signs that a vehicle has been abandoned include:

  • broken windows
  • missing number plates
  • flat or missing tyres
  • doesn't look roadworthy
  • looks damaged or run-down

Please give as much useful information as possible, including the make, model, licence plate, colour and location. You can upload a photo of the vehicle if you have one.

What happens following a report of an abandoned vehicle

We will review the information provided and if appropriate, we will visit the vehicle. If we decide that the vehicle is abandoned we will:

  1. Write to the last registered keeper to advise that they need to move the vehicle or contact us to advise that the vehicle is not abandoned, within 10 days or it will be removed. 
  2. If no contact is made and the vehicle does not move, the vehicle will be removed and stored for 10 days in a vehicle compound. A Fixed Penalty Notice of £250 plus removal and storage fees will be issued to the last registered keeper.
  3. If, after 10 days the payment has not been made, the vehicle will be destroyed.  Payment will still be required. If the matter goes to court, the registered keeper could be fined up to £2,500 or a term not exceeding 3 months imprisonment, or both.

Please note:

  • vehicles considered to be fit only for destruction may be destroyed or disposed of immediately without notice
  • where vehicles are located on private land, the permission of the landowner is required before the vehicle can be removed.

In all cases, if the decision of the authorised Council Officer is that the vehicle is not abandoned, no further action will be taken.

Report an untaxed vehicle

If a vehicle is untaxed and parked on the highway it should be reported to the DVLA - whether you believe it to be abandoned or not.

How to get rid of your unwanted vehicle

There are charity schemes that allow you to turn your old vehicle into a donation to a cause of your choice.  You can find these using an internet search engine.

You can also dispose of your vehicle, normally for free, through an authorised treatment facility.  

Contact Customer Services

1 Union Street
Howden House
S1 2SH

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