Abandoned vehicles

Abandoned vehicles degrade streets and can become targets for antisocial behaviour or arson. It is a criminal offence to abandon a motor vehicle on a public road or on land in the open air. The local council can prosecute a vehicle owner for abandoning a vehicle.

Identifying an abandoned vehicle

There isn't an exact definition of  what is an abandoned vehicle. If you notice a vehicle in a public place and you're concerned it is abandoned, you can look for certain signs. Check if the vehicle: 

  • has been stationary for a long time
  • is damaged or vandalised
  • is run down or unroadworthy with flat tyres, wheels removed or broken windows
  • is burnt out
  • is missing  one or both registration (number) plates
  • contains waste

Reporting an abandoned vehicle

If you're concerned about a vehicle which seems abandoned, contact the council in your area.

What your council can do

The council is responsible for investigating vehicles reported as abandoned in their borough or district.  

They can remove an abandoned vehicle and:

  • give the owner a fixed penalty of £200
  • prosecute the owner in court

A court can fine the owner up to £5,000 for abandoning a vehicle.

Report waste crime

It is a criminal offence to dump or burn waste where it's not allowed. To read more, go to "Report waste crime" page. 

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