The Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 and the Road Traffic Act 1984 sets out powers to remove and dispose of abandoned vehicles, and to remove vehicles that are broken down or causing an obstruction.
The Council only has the power to remove a vehicle which has been abandoned. It is the responsibility of the Police to remove vehicles that are broken down or causing an obstruction.
All vehicles reported to the Council as abandoned will be visited by a Council Officer within 24 hours of the report being received.
How can you tell if a vehicle is abandoned?
There are several things to look for when assessing if a vehicle is abandoned.
- Has it been parked in the same place for a long time?
- Are there weeds etc. growing around the wheels?
- Are any of the tyres deflated?
- Are any of the windows smashed?
- Has the vehicle got a registered keeper?
- Has the vehicle been burned out?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then the vehicle may have been abandoned.
Just because a vehicle is untaxed, it doesn't necessarily mean it is abandoned. As of 1st October 2014 vehicles are no longer required to display a tax disc. Any person may check the tax status of any vehicle by using the DVLA's Vehicle Enquiry System which can be accessed here
What happens when I report a vehicle as abandoned?
Once a report has been made to the Council, an Officer will visit the vehicle and make an assessment, based on the above criteria. Photographs of the vehicle and it's location will be taken for evidence. If deemed abandoned a 24 hour Notice will be applied if on public land. The vehicle will be removed within 24 hours of the Notice expiring.
Once a vehicle has been removed, the registered keeper of the vehicle can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice. They may also be charged for the collection and disposal. This is why it is so important that if you have sold a car you must change the details with the DVLA.
How do I report an abandoned vehicle?