Abandoned or nuisance vehicles

We have recommenced enforcement activity on abandoned and untaxed vehicles; however, in light of COVID-19 the decision to remove a vehicle from relevant land will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Removing nuisance vehicles is taking slightly longer as our contractor is working with reduced number of staff due to the pandemic. We cannot tell you the outcome of our vehicle investigations or who owns the vehicle. We may not be able to remove every vehicle which has been reported as abandoned.

Reports are welcomed from anyone regarding abandoned or nuisance vehicles anywhere in the borough. 

  • Abandoned vehicles - a vehicle is deemed 'abandoned' when our inspectors decide that it has been abandoned without lawful authority (Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978).
  • Nuisance vehicles - these are vehicles being sold or repaired on a road in most cases by businesses (and not individuals).

Untaxed vehicles

As it is no longer necessary to display a tax disc on a vehicle, the non-display or display of an out of date tax disc, will not be a factor when deciding if a vehicle is abandoned.

If the vehicle is out of road tax for more than two months and two days we can remove the vehicle as untaxed.

You can check the current road tax status of a vehicle on the DVLA website

Reporting an abandoned or nuisance vehicle

Before an abandoned vehicle is reported wewant as much information as possible. The following characteristics are generally common to abandoned vehicles and one or more will be taken into consideration by an inspector when deciding if a vehicle is abandoned or not. We will need to know the following information to be able to deal with the problem:

  • the vehicle's location
  • the make and model
  • the registration number
  • the colour
  • whether there are any flat tyres, missing wheels, rusty brake discs or broken windows
  • whether there is mould within the vehicle
  • whether the vehicle has been stationary for some time
  • whether the vehicle contains any waste
  • whether the vehicle has any missing number plates
  • whether the vehicle burnt out (immediate removal)
  • whether the vehicle is significantly damaged, run down or appears un-roadworthy

Report an abandoned vehicle now

What happens next

We aim to remove all nuisance vehicles within three working days of them being reported and inspected.

  • Our enforcement officers first visit the vehicle within one working day of the report in order to decide the appropriate action to be taken.
  • We then aim to remove vehicle designated as abandoned within one working day of the inspectors' decision.

There may be some delay in removing vehicles if:

  • they are blocked in
  • they need emptying of rubbish
  • their location or circumstance requires police support for their removal
  • we put a seven-day notice on the windscreen and try to establish ownership of the vehicle by contacting the DVLA
  • the vehicle is on council housing or private land, which in some cases means that we need to issue a 15-day notice on the vehicle or to the owner's address.

Private land

When our inspectors decide a vehicle is abandoned and is on private land, we must issue the land occupier with a 15-day notice, explaining our intentions to remove the vehicle. If an objection is made by the land owner, we cannot remove it. If no objection is made or the land occupier gives permission before the 15-day period we will then follow the same procedure when dealing with abandoned vehicles on the Highway, adopted road, public footpath or estate access road.

The land owner may be liable for costs incurred by us.


We log all complaints, so if you have a query regarding a previously reported vehicle, please call us.