Report an abandoned vehicle

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 but 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 it might not be abandoned. However, if it's blocking an access point, you should contact the police.

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

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. View examples of damaged vehicles below.

Before you start

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

Report an abandoned vehicle

Abandoned Vehicles on Private Land

We can investigate these if we are provided with authorisation from the landowner. We'll need confirmation that the vehicle does not have permission to be there, and we'll need a copy of land registry to prove ownership. This can be emailed to

Please note that we will still have to determine the vehicle as abandoned using the criteria above, not having permission to be on the land does not it itself make the vehicle abandoned.  Furthermore, there may be circumstances where we will be unable to remove the vehicle from the private land, for example where the costs of removal is above the services agreed maximum cost.

Vehicle conditions

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.

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

Frequently asked questions

What do we do with abandoned vehicles?

If we agree that the vehicle appears to be abandoned, we will initially try to contact the last registered owner as well as placing a notice on the car. If the vehicle is claimed by the registered keeper, we are unable to take any further action. 

If the vehicle is not claimed and the period of the notice expires then we then seek to remove it as soon as possible. We aim to remove within 10 days of the expiry of the notice, unless it is in a dangerous condition, in which case we will aim to remove within 24 hours.

How can I check if a vehicle is taxed?

You can check if a vehicle is taxed by entering the vehicle's registration number on GOV.UK.

How can I report an untaxed vehicle?

You can report an untaxed vehicle by completing the untaxed vehicle form on the DLVA website.

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 try to collect any unpaid car tax that you owe.