Report an abandoned vehicle

First you should find out if the vehicle is taxed or not and this can be done very quickly and easily by checking on the DVLA website.

Check a vehicle’s tax status 

If the vehicle is untaxed and parked on a public road, you can report it to the DVLA.

If the vehicle is taxed

If the vehicle is taxed, it would NOT generally be considered to be abandoned. Sometimes vehicles may not move from a certain location for a long period of time because the owner has decided for whatever reason not to use the vehicle.

If the vehicle is taxed but appears to have been involved in a Road Traffic Accident/collision

If the vehicle is taxed but appears to have been involved in a Road Traffic Accident/collision, it would NOT generally be considered to be abandoned. The owner would be expected to take action to get the vehicle removed.

If the vehicle is SORN

A SORN vehicle should not be left on the public road and the DVLA is the only authority with the powers to remove.

Check if a vehicle is SORN 

If the vehicle is SORN and parked on the public highway, it should be treated in the same way as an untaxed vehicle and reported to DVLA.

If the vehicle is untaxed

The DVLA is the only authority with the powers to remove untaxed vehicles from the public highway.

Report an untaxed/SORN vehicle to DVLA 

If you believe a vehicle has been abandoned

Ownership

If you believe the vehicle is in an abandoned state but is owned by a local resident/neighbour, no action can be taken by the Council as the vehicle is “owned”. Also, if the vehicle is parked on a public road where there are no parking restrictions, again no action can be taken as the vehicle is “owned” and not parked in contravention.

A vehicle may be considered as abandoned if it is untaxed and has no registered keeper. It would also need to meet the following criteria.

Criteria

A vehicle can be classed as abandoned if it is untaxed and

  • is significantly damaged or un-roadworthy (wheels removed, broken windows, missing number plates) and has no registered keeper
  • is burned out and a danger to the public

Please note that a vehicle will have to fulfil one of the two options above to qualify as an abandoned vehicle. In all cases, the decision to remove an abandoned vehicle will be at the discretion of BCC Highways, having taken into account all available information at the time.

What happens next

When you report an abandoned vehicle:-

  • we will investigate and inspect the vehicle.
  • If we believe it’s been abandoned, actions will be taken:-
    • A 14 day notice will be placed on the vehicle to advise that it will be removed. (This gives the opportunity for an owner to get in touch with us to explain that it is not abandoned).
    • If no contact is received, the vehicle will then be removed.
  • If a vehicle is on the highway and is in a dangerous condition or causing a hazard, this will be treated as a priority and will be removed as soon as possible.

We can’t remove vehicles from private land without the permission of the landowner.

Report an abandoned vehicle

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