Abandoned vehicles

What is an abandoned vehicle?

A vehicle is only abandoned 'where it appears to a local authority that a motor vehicle is abandoned without lawful authority…' (Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978). This means that a vehicle is deemed abandoned when an authorised officer at the Council decides that it is abandoned, usually after investigation.

The following characteristics are generally common to abandoned vehicles and will be taken into consideration when deciding that a vehicle is abandoned:

  • untaxed (this should not be the only factor) 
  • flat tyres 
  • broken windows 
  • stationary for some time 
  • has no current registered keeper 
  • contains waste 
  • missing number plates 
  • burnt out 
  • significantly damaged, run down or not roadworthy.

Many vehicles that are reported do not fulfil enough of these criteria and the authorised officer cannot deem it abandoned. However, if the vehicle is causing a problem, it could be classified as a nuisance vehicle.

What is a nuisance vehicle?

A nuisance vehicle is not an abandoned vehicle and could be, for instance:

  • causing an obstruction 
  • broken down

In those instances, we will make every effort to find the owner and discuss any problems that their vehicle is causing.

Report an abandoned vehicle

The Council will remove abandoned vehicles from the highway and from Council-owned land.

You can report an abandoned vehicle using the link below which takes you to our My Requests system. You will need to register to do this if you have not used My Requests before.

We recommend using My Requests with a different web browser than Internet Explorer, such as Chrome or Safari.

Report an abandoned vehicle now

If you wish to report an suspected abandoned vehicle you will need to have the following information:

  • registration number 
  • type of vehicle 
  • make and model 
  • colour 
  • condition of vehicle 
  • is there a tax disc? 
  • exact location 
  • how long the vehicle has been there 
  • has the car shown any signs of being used in this period? 
  • does the vehicle contain any types of waste material?

Contact details

Report an abandoned vehicle

Phone : 01274 431000