Abandoned vehicles

The council has a legal duty to deal with motor vehicles that have been abandoned. This can be a costly process and we will therefore take steps to trace the owners and require them to dispose the vehicle.

Just because a vehicle is not being used does not mean that it is abandoned. It is often a matter for council officers’ discretion as to whether to declare it as abandoned.

Following an inspection the council may:

  • impound the vehicle immediately
  • attach a notice giving the owner 24 hours to remove the vehicle
  • write to the last registered keeper giving them 7 days notice (15 days notice on private land) to claim or remove it

Otherwise the vehicle may be impounded and disposed of.

In the absence of clear evidence that the vehicle is abandoned, the vehicle will be monitored in situ for 21 days to allow for the possibility that the owner maybe on holiday or in hospital. In some instances, the vehicle will be referred to the local branch of the DVLA to deal with.

Once the owner of a vehicle has been identified, it is no longer considered abandoned and the council are not able to remove it unless it is considered to be dangerous. The owner will be required to dispose of the vehicle correctly or face prosecution.

Claiming back a vehicle

Any vehicle that is declared abandoned will be towed away by the council and disposed of.

There may be an opportunity to claim the vehicle back, but this will involve paying the statutory recovery fee of £150, plus statutory storage fees of £20 per day and disposal fees of £75.