Abandoned and untaxed vehicles

Vehicles are no longer required to display a tax disc. A vehicle not displaying a tax disc, is not necessarily abandoned.

Please see the government information on vehicle tax changes.

 The following list can help you to help determine whether a vehicle is abandoned, however vehicles that are reported to us are always investigated.  Please note that these are only indicators of potential abandonment and not a guarantee that a vehicle will be deemed abandoned.

  • has the vehicle been parked without moving a minimum of 4 weeks?
  • are there any flat tyres or removed wheels?
  • is the windscreen or any of the windows broken?
  • is the vehicle mouldy or rusty?
  • is there waste inside the vehicle?

Abandoning a vehicle can result in a fine or prosecution. 

Vehicles that aren't classed as abandoned

  • if your neighbour has gone on holiday or you are in dispute with them
  • if parked across your driveway; this is known as an obstruction

If you are unsure, please call our customer contact centre on 020 8554 5000.

Report an abandoned vehicle

When you report an abandoned vehicle we will ask for and if these details are not provided we might not be able to carry out an inspection:

  • the exact location
  • registration number
  • make of the vehicle
  • colour
  • brief description of the state of the vehicle

Report an abandoned vehicle

How we deal with abandoned vehicles

All abandoned vehicle reports received by the us will be investigated. If the vehicle is believed to be abandoned, we will try to contact the last registered keeper and advise them that their vehicle has been deemed to be presented in an abandoned state.

After we have contacted the registered keeper, if the vehicle then remains unmoved or the condition unchanged when re-checked and the vehicle is deemed to be abandoned it will be removed and stored for 28 days. If the vehicle remains unclaimed after this period, it will be destroyed.

Removing a vehicle from private land

We can investigate these vehicles however, we must have permission from the land owner as we will have to go on to the property to investigate it. If we need to, we will contact the land owner.  If the owner of private land contacts the Council regarding an abandoned vehicle we would request an abandoned vehicle notice be placed on the vehicle and a £25 administration fee paid.  Once the administration fee is paid and we have received pictures of the vehicle in question showing the notice we will start the process of contacting the registered keeper of the vehicle with the view of removing it if no response is received.

Untaxed vehicles

Every vehicle registered in the United Kingdom must be taxed if used or kept on a public road. If the vehicle is kept off-road it must either be taxed or have a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). If not it could be clamped or removed without notice by either us or the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Reclaiming your vehicle

If you want to reclaim your vehicle, you need to contact us. If we don't have your vehicle we will advise you to contact the police. To reclaim your vehicle you will need proof of ownership such as the log book or a receipt.

If you plan to drive the vehicle away it has to be road legal which means that you must have:

  • a valid MOT certificate
  • valid car insurance
  • valid car tax
  • driver must have a full and valid driving licence

If you do not have any of the above then you will need to contact us for advice on 020 8554 5000.

Before claiming you vehicle you should also provide us with these details:

  • car registration
  • where it was parked when we claimed it

We can only discuss a vehicle with the registered owner.


There will be a charge to reclaim your vehicle. The amount charged will depend on the circumstances. The charge increases on a daily basis. You should try to reclaim the vehicle as soon as you can.

If you have provided all of the information we need and are willing to make the full payment we can arrange a pick up for you. You can usually collect it within 24 hours (excluding weekends) of contacting us. You will need to take the relevant documentation and payment with you for collection. 

Can you tell me where my vehicle is?

Unfortunately we cannot tell you where your vehicle is unless you have paid for the return of it. 

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