Abandoned vehicles

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

Even if a vehicle's causing a nuisance or obstruction, is untaxed, or is dangerously parked, it doesn’t mean that it’s abandoned. Taxed vehicles can still be abandoned.

Where a vehicle's causing an obstruction, or is dangerously parked, you should call the police on 101.

Penalty for abandoning a vehicle

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

Before reporting a vehicle to us

Before you make a report check if the vehicle’s taxed and has an MOT certificate. We’ll only accept your report and take action if you provide the vehicle's tax expiry date and MOT expiry date.

If the vehicle’s untaxed you should report it to the DVLA.

If the vehicle's taxed, report it to us using our online form below.

Report an abandoned vehicle

You'll need to tell us:

  • whether the vehicle's taxed and tested
  • the registration number
  • the make and colour of the vehicle
  • the precise location of vehicle
  • whether the vehicle’s causing an obstruction or parked in a way that causes risk or injury to others

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's 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 remove the vehicle. 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.