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Abandoned Vehicles

Birmingham City Council can help you deal with abandoned vehicles but you should first try to find out if the vehicle is taxed.
Visit the DVLA website, or read the section below, for details on how to find out if a vehicle is taxed or not, and how to report it if not.

Untaxed Vehicles

DVLA logo

Vehicles registered under the SORN (Statutory off the road notice) with the DVLA must not be kept on the public highway.

It is possible to report an untaxed vehicle that has been seen on a public road anonymously to the DVLA. (Please note:-tax discs are no longer needed - the vehicle tax could be up to date even if it doesn’t have a tax disc).

Steps to follow to report a vehicle as untaxed:

  1. Check/confirm that a vehicle is untaxed before it is reported - this is a free service (www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax - details to enter:- (1) vehicle registration number and (2) make of vehicle to establish whether the vehicle has current tax or not, or whether it has been registered as SORN).
  2. A vehicle should only be reported if it is either untaxed or registered as SORN and parked on a public road. (A vehicle can be registered as SORN if the vehicle is not used or kept on a public road e.g. it is kept in a garage, or on a drive or on private land).
  3. In order to report the vehicle online (forms.dft.gov.uk/report-an-untaxed-vehicle/), the following information will be required:- the vehicle registration number, make, model, colour and the street name, town and postcode where the vehicle is parked.
  4. Alternatively a letter can be sent to the DVLA if it cannot be reported online. Postal address:- “Enforcement Section, W070/D12, DVLA, Longview Road, Swansea SA7 0XZ. The following details should be included:- the vehicle registration number, make, model and colour, detailed location and the time the vehicle has been on the road if known.

Report an untaxed vehicle direct to DVLA (opens in new window)

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Overview

Abandoned Vehicles

Birmingham City Council has a statutory duty under section 3 of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978, to remove a motor vehicle which is abandoned in their area without lawful authority:

  1. on any land in the open air, or
  2. any other land forming part of a highway (including private roads)
    In addition, regulation 5 of the Removal and Disposal of Vehicle Regulations 1986 gives the Council the power to remove abandoned vehicles not covered by the statutory duty under s.3 of the above Act:
  3. where a vehicle having broken down on a road or other land in the area of a local authority that appears to have been abandoned without lawful authority, or
  4. where a vehicle has been permitted to remain at rest on a road or other land in the area of a local authority in such a position or in such condition or in such circumstances as to appear to have been abandoned without lawful authority.

It should be noted that the council may only remove abandoned vehicles from private land if the land owner does not object.

Nuisance Vehicles

Abandoned vehicles often get confused with nuisance vehicles. A nuisance vehicle is not necessarily abandoned and often cannot be removed by the authority. Common examples of ‘nuisance’ vehicles are those which are:

  • poorly parked
  • causing an obstruction
  • involved in residential parking disputes
  • broken down
  • untaxed.

If a vehicle is untaxed but not abandoned, the local authority has no powers to remove it from the highway. In this instance, please report the vehicle to the DVLA.

Essential Information
  • There is no legal definition of an “abandoned” vehicle. However, the following characteristics are generally common to abandoned vehicles, although the list is not exhaustive and not all of the factors need to be present in order that the vehicle may be classed as abandoned:


    • untaxed
    • no keeper on the DVLA’s database
    • stationary for a significant amount of time; significantly damaged, run down or un-roadworthy - with flat tyres, wheels removed or broken windows and my contain waste material
    • burned out
    • number plates missing
    • left without lawful authority.


  • Abandoned vehicles often get confused with nuisance vehicles. A nuisance vehicle is not necessarily abandoned and often cannot be removed by the authority.

    Common ‘nuisance’ vehicles are:


    • Poorly parked
    • Causing an obstruction
    • Involved in residential parking disputes
    • Broken down
    • Untaxed

    If a vehicle is untaxed but not abandoned, the local authority has no powers to remove it from the highway. In this instance, please report the untaxed vehicle to the DVLA.

  • It is possible to report an untaxed vehicle that has been seen on a public road anonymously to the DVLA.

    Please note - tax discs are no longer needed. The vehicle tax could be up to date even if it doesn’t have a tax disc.

    How to report a vehicle as untaxed

    1. Check/confirm that a vehicle is untaxed before it is reported - this is a free service (www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax - details to enter:- (1) vehicle registration number and (2) make of vehicle to establish whether the vehicle has current tax or not, or whether it has been registered as SORN).
    2. A vehicle should only be reported if it is either untaxed or registered as SORN and parked on a public road. (A vehicle can be registered as SORN if the vehicle is not used or kept on a public road e.g. it is kept in a garage, or on a drive or on private land).
    3. In order to report the vehicle online (forms.dft.gov.uk/report-an-untaxed-vehicle/), the following information will be required:- the vehicle registration number, make, model, colour and the street name, town and postcode where the vehicle is parked.
    4. Alternatively a letter can be sent to the DVLA if it cannot be reported online. Postal address: “Enforcement Section, W070/D12, DVLA, Longview Road, Swansea SA7 0XZ. The following details should be included:- the vehicle registration number, make, model and colour, detailed location and the time the vehicle has been on the road if known.

    Report an untaxed vehicle to the DVLA (opens in new window)

  • Charges for removing vehicles

    Vehicle position and condition Vehicle equal to or less than 3.5 tonnes MAM Vehicle exceeding 3.5 tonnes MAM but equal to or less than 7.5 tonnes Vehicle exceeding 7.5 tonnes MAM but equal to or less than 18 MAM Vehicle exceeding 18 tonnes MAM
    Vehicle on road, upright and not substantially damaged or any two wheeled vehicle whatever its condition or position on or off the road £150 £200 £350 £350
    Vehicle, excluding a two wheeled vehicle, on road but either not upright or substantially damaged or both £250 £650 Unladen–£2000 Unladen–£3000
    Laden–£3000 Laden–£4500
    Vehicle, excluding a two wheeled vehicle, off road, upright and not substantially damaged £200 £400 Unladen–£1000 Unladen–£1500
    Laden–£1500 Laden–£2000
    Vehicle, excluding a two wheeled vehicle, off road but either not upright or substantially damaged or both £300 £850 Unladen–£3000 Unladen–£4500
    Laden–£4500 Laden–£6000

    Charges for storing vehicles


    Type of vehicle Cost per 24 hours
    (or part thereof)
    Two wheeled vehicle £10
    Vehicle, not including a two wheeled vehicle, equal to or less than 3.5 tonnes MAM £20
    Vehicle exceeding 3.5 tonnes MAM but equal to or less than 7.5 tonnes MAM £25
    Vehicle exceeding 7.5 tonnes MAM but equal to or less than 18 MAM £30
    Vehicle exceeding 18 tonnes MAM £35

    Charges for disposing of vehicles


    Type of vehicle Disposal cost
    Two wheeled vehicle £50
    Vehicle, not including a two wheeled vehicle, equal to or less than 3.5 tonnes MAM £75
    Vehicle exceeding 3.5 tonnes MAM but equal to or less than 7.5 tonnes MAM £100
    Vehicle exceeding 7.5 tonnes MAM but equal to or less than 18 MAM £125
    Vehicle exceeding 18 tonnes MAM £150
Frequently Asked Questions
    • Where a suspected abandoned vehicle has been inspected and confirmation given that it is believed to be abandoned, it will normally be removed within 7 days unless it is on private land which requires contact to be made with the land owner to find out if they object.

      If a vehicle is on the highway and is regarded as dangerous or a hazard then it is likely to be removed within 24 hours.

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