Abandoned vehicles

It is no longer a legal requirement to display tax on the windscreen. A car parked in the road, e.g. outside your house, for a few days is probably not abandoned.

It’s worth checking to see if its taxed. You can do this online at GOV.UK.

If a vehicle is taxed, it can be parked on the road and may not be abandoned. However, if it's obstructing an access point, you should contact the police.

A vehicle that isn't taxed, but doesn't appear abandoned, should be reported to the DVLA, as should a vehicle which has a statutory off road notice (SORN) but remains on the public highway.

A vehicle that looks roadworthy, in good condition, and has a visible number plate may have been stolen, so you should report it to the police on 101.

A vehicle that doesn’t look roadworthy (for example has broken windows, missing tyres) may have been abandoned so you should report it to us online.

Report an abandoned vehicle

To report a taxed and damaged or dangerous vehicle you will need to provide:

  • the location of the vehicle with number and street name
  • the date and time the vehicle was first noticed
  • a description of the vehicle and its current state

Please note that you should only report cars which are damaged and show clear signs of abandonment. For guidance please see the images below before beginning your report.

Report an abandoned vehicle

Different vehicle conditions
Normal parked car No damage
Neglected car Very slight signs of abandonment
Dangerously damaged car Damaged and clear signs of abandonment

What do we do with abandoned vehicles?

If we agree that the vehicle appears to be abandoned, we aim to remove it after seven days (15 days if it’s on private land if permission from the landowner is given) after attempting to contact the last registered owner.

If it’s in a dangerous condition, we can remove it within 24 hours. If the vehicle is claimed by the register keeper we are unable to take any further action.

How can I scrap my vehicle?

See the DVLA website for advice on getting rid of an unwanted vehicle.

What’s the penalty for abandoning a vehicle?

It’s against the law to dump a vehicle. We can fine you £2,500, and the DVLA may pursue you for owed vehicle excise duty (car tax).