Abandoned vehicles

An abandoned vehicle is one that's been left in an open area or on road, and doesn't appear to have a known owner.

A car isn't considered to be abandoned just because it's a nuisance or obstruction, is untaxed, or is dangerously parked on the road. A taxed vehicle may still be abandoned.

We'll make the decision as to whether a car is abandoned.

Anyone found guilty of abandoning a vehicle can face a fixed penalty of £200 or a fine up to £2,500. If you are fined, you can pay by debit or credit card.

Report an abandoned vehicle

Contact the police if the vehicle's causing an obstruction or is dangerous. Otherwise, please use our online form below.

Before you start the form

Please make sure you have the following information to hand:

  • precise location of vehicle
  • make and model
  • colour
  • registration number (if known)
  • whether the vehicle's taxed (if known)
  • how long it's been there
  • details its owner (if known)
  • details of any damage to the vehicle
  • any other information that makes you think the vehicle's abandoned 

What we'll do

If the vehicle you've reported hasn't already been dealt with, we'll go out and inspect it. If we decide that it's been abandoned, we'll place an order to have it removed as soon as possible.

If the vehicle is damaged and only fit for destruction, we'll arrange for it to be destroyed.

If we feel the vehicle may have some value, we'll try to find the owner and serve a seven day notice on them, asking them to collect the vehicle from our storage compound.  There'll be a charge for this. If the vehicle isn't collected, we'll destroy it.

If the vehicle's on private land, we have to serve a 15 day notice on the occupier before we can remove it and we must have their permission.

If it would be unreasonably expensive to remove a vehicle, we won't move it.

Getting rid of your old car

You should arrange for your unwanted vehicle to be properly disposed of by a private vehicle dismantler. This will cost you, but the charge will be much less than the £2,500 you could be fined if you abandon it. Only sites licensed to accept 'end of life vehicles' will be able to accept your vehicle. You'll find them in the Yellow Pages.

You can also contact the Environment Agency on 03708 506506 for advice on where you can take your unwanted car,