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Abandoned vehicles

What is an abandoned vehicle?

An abandoned vehicle is one that appears not to be in regular use, usually 3 months or more (unless on private land with the landowner or occupier's permission) for which no owner can be found or traced.

To be classed as an abandoned vehicle it must meet at least two of the following criteria before an inspection is carried out:

  • Bodywork damage
  • Broken windscreen/windows
  • Missing wheels
  • Litter or weeds under the vehicle
  • Rusty brakes
  • Flat tyres
  • Broken lights
  • Leaking fluids
  • Excessive waste in the vehicle
  • Increased fire risk

Just because a vehicle is in poor condition and/or out of tax does not necessarily mean that it is abandoned and therefore on occasions additional enquiries may have to be made to establish whether or not the vehicle is abandoned before the Council can remove it. 

Vehicles that are obstructively or dangerously parked, irrespective of whether a vehicle is taxed or not, Must be reported to the police as they can arrange for the vehicle to be dealt with immediately.

Vehicle tax changes

The paper tax discs are no longer issued. Vehicle tax still needs to be paid but the DVLA now has a digital record of who has and has not paid.

You can check the tax status of any vehicle including those abandoned at:

www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax

Stroud District Council do not deal with untaxed vehicles. Please report untaxed vehicle to the DVLA at:

https://forms.dft.gov.uk/report-an-untaxed-vehicle/

To report an abandoned vehicle we need:

  • The location of the vehicle (outside house no....., opposite......)
  • The make, model and colour of the vehicle
  • The registration no. of the vehicle
  • How long has it been in it's current position
  • What is the general condition of the vehicle

The costs for removal, destruction or storage of abandoned vehicles is recovered from the last known keeper. Non-payment will result in action being taken in the County Court.

If the vehicle did not display a registration mark a second trace of the last known keeper will be established, where possible, from the VIN number provided by the destruction centre.

Reporting abandoned vehicles

Report an abandoned vehicle

The vehicle is abandoned on private land - what do I do?

Vehicles on private land present a different case to those on the public highway, in that the Council has no direct powers to remove vehicles on private land. The Council can only remove vehicles from private land if the request comes from the Land Owner, subject to a few conditions.

If a Land Owner wants a vehicle removed from their property, the Land Owner has similar legal obligations as the Council, and must try and trace the owner of the vehicle. As with the Council, a Land Owner can contact the DVLA to request them to trace the owner. If these actions are unsuccessful you can contact the Police to see if they have any interest in the vehicle. The Land Owner has the right to remove the vehicle.

Stroud District Council will remove a vehicle on behalf of a Land Owner providing the Land Owner can show that they have made all reasonable efforts to contact the vehicle owner (for example, quoting a police incident number and providing the Council with copies of any correspondence the Land Owner may have received).

Avoid breaking the law when selling your vehicle.

Remember until the DVLA receive new keeper details you will remain liable for the car tax and any fines or costs run up by that vehicle.

When you sell your vehicle:-

  • Complete the blue part of the registration document with the purchaser's name and address (the purchaser should sign the declaration to confirm these details).
  • Sign the declaration yourself and send the blue part only to the DVLA at Swansea.
  • Complete the green part with the purchaser's details and give it to the new keeper.
  • Only complete the red part when selling to a member of the motor trade.
  • Don't give the whole document to the buyer for them to complete-you will only be leaving yourself open to problems at a later date.

This page was last updated: 4 September 2017

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