Coronavirus (COVID-19): reporting abandoned vehicles update
In light of the current situation, we will
not investigate abandoned vehicles unless they’re in a dangerous condition. We'll continue to monitor the situation closely, carefully and frequently and will keep this website updated.
It's an offence to abandon a vehicle anywhere on the highway (roads and pavements) or public land. There are different ways to make a report.
Report an abandoned vehicle
- If you suspect a vehicle has been abandoned on the highway, please report it to the police on 101.
- If the vehicle is not damaged then check if it has been taxed or got an MOT on GOV.UK.
Check if a vehicle is taxed at GOV.UK
If the vehicle is not taxed then you can report it directly and anonymously to the DVLA.
Report an untaxed vehicle to the DVLA
If the vehicle has no MOT then please report it to the police on 101.
If the vehicle is parked on public land, is in a dangerous place or badly damaged then please report it to us. Please give as much useful information as possible such as the registration number, make and model of the vehicle, colour of vehicle, location of vehicle and the time it can be seen on the public road.
If you suspect a vehicle has been abandoned on the highway, please report it to the police.
What happens next if you report an abandoned vehicle to us?
Before we can take action, we investigate to work out if the vehicle is in fact abandoned. This is likely if any of the following apply:
It has no keeper on the
DVLA’s database and is untaxed (we need to check with the DVLA as vehicles no longer have to display a tax disc).
- It's been stationary for a long time.
- It's badly damaged, run down or un-roadworthy - for example flat tyres, missing wheels or broken windows.
- It has number plates missing.
How councils deal with abandoned vehicles
Who is responsible for removing abandoned vehicles?
Removing an abandoned vehicle is a matter for either the local authority or the police.
Where vehicles are not illegally parked, but otherwise appear to be abandoned, the responsibility for removing and ultimately disposing of them rests in practice with the local authority.
Local authorities have powers to trace the last owner of the vehicle to assign disposal costs. Under the Removal and Disposal of Vehicles Regulation 1986, the police have the power to remove immediately any vehicle which is left in breach of local traffic regulation orders, is causing an obstruction, likely to cause a danger, broken down or abandoned without lawful authority