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What are the duties of the Local Authority?

It is the duty of a local authority to remove vehicles which appear to have been abandoned, subject to:

  • the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978
  • the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
  • the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005

When deciding if a vehicle has been abandoned, we take the following into account:

  • the length of time the vehicle has been in its current position 
  • the overall condition, age and appearance of the vehicle 
  • the status of the vehicle with regards to tax/MOT/SORN
  • the presence of a number plate 
  • apparent roadworthiness 
  • security 
  • where the vehicle is with regards to the address of the last registered keeper (owner)

Vehicles that are only untaxed are not abandoned vehicles. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has powers to take enforcement action against keepers of untaxed vehicles. Report an untaxed vehicle

If a vehicle is on private land, the Council must give the occupier of the land 15 days notice before they remove it. This notice is stuck to the vehicle.

If the occupier of the land objects to the vehicle being removed, the Council cannot remove the vehicle. 

For highways and public land, notice periods are either 7 days or 24 hours. In exceptional circumstances, where the vehicle is in a dangerous condition, notice periods can be immediate.

Removed vehicles are kept for 7 days. This gives keepers the chance to reclaim them before they are destroyed.

The registered keeper is charged the statutory fee for removal, storage and disposal of a vehicle.

There is also a Fixed Penalty Notice fine that can be issued as an alternative to prosecution.