What is an Abandoned Vehicle?
An abandoned vehicle is:
- A vehicle that is in dangerous condition or is a danger to others.
- A vehicle has no current vehicle license (road tax).
- A vehicle that is not in use and has not moved for some time (at least 3 weeks normally).
- A vehicle that has no apparent value.
Sedgemoor District Council place great emphasis on the prompt and efficient removal of abandoned vehicles. The Council recognises that such vehicles are an eyesore, attract vandalism and are a potential danger to road users and children.
Before you report an abandoned vehicle
Prior to reporting a vehicle to the Council as being abandoned, please carry out an on-line check at GOV.UK - Vehicle Tax Checker to establish if the vehicle is currently taxed.
The DVLA are responsible for dealing with untaxed vehicles. Vehicles that are currently taxed are not normally considered as abandoned.
If you believe a vehicle has been abandoned
If you believe a vehicle has been abandoned please report it to us and we will investigate as soon as possible with a view to getting it removed. The Council must be satisfied that a vehicle is abandoned before it can be dealt with. Normally you can tell if a vehicle has been abandoned by looking for the following signs;
- It may have not moved for a long time (weeks or months).
- It is untaxed.
- It may be vandalised.
- It may be neglected and in a poor state i.e. flat tyres.
- It may be burnt out or have been damaged as part of a road traffic accident.
- It may have number plates missing.
- It may contain waste, car parts, furniture, and bags of rubbish.
How to report an abandoned vehicle
This can be done by completing a Report Anti-Social Behaviour form or contacting the Council on 0300 303 7800.
Anonymous reports are not normally investigated.
When reporting a vehicle we will need the following information:
- Your name, address, contact telephone number and email address
- Registration number
- Condition (damage, flat tyres, etc)
- Details of any rubbish dumped in the vehicle
- Precise location
- How long it has been there
- Do you know or suspect who the vehicle belongs to?
What happens next?
An enforcement officer will visit the location within five working days of notification. If the vehicle is of low value (in a poor condition, flat tyres damaged etc.), a 24 hour notice will be attached to the vehicle, if it remains unclaimed on expiry of the notice the vehicle will be removed for destruction.
The Council will work where possible with landowners to get a vehicle removed from private land; this may include serving a 15 day legal notice on the owner or the occupier of the land.
If the vehicle is of value, and therefore should not be destroyed, a REMOVAL NOTICE will be fixed to the vehicle and a seven day notice served on the registered keeper. If it remains unclaimed on expiry of the notice the vehicle will be removed for disposal or destruction.
Fines and charges
Abandoning a vehicle is a criminal offence, carrying a maximum penalty on conviction of £2,500 or three months' imprisonment, or both.
You may also be liable for a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200.00.
Getting your vehicle back
If you think we have removed your vehicle, you will need to contact us and provide your V5 log book or proof of ownership, and your driving licence. You will also need to show us either a valid passport, birth certificate, rent book or recent bill as additional proof of identification.
You will be charged a daily storage fee, payable in cash or by credit or debit card.
Owners of abandoned vehicles that have been removed are also liable for the costs these are specified in law under the The Removal, Storage and Disposal of Vehicles (Prescribed Sums and Charges) Regulations 2008.
Reporting an untaxed vehicle to the DVLA
Untaxed vehicles (that are not abandoned) can be reported to the DVLA anonymously on their free hotline: 0800 0325 202.
It is an offence to use or keep on the public road a motor vehicle (registered in the UK) without a valid current vehicle licence (road tax).
When contacting the DVLA to report an untaxed vehicle, you will need to provide the following information:
- The vehicle registration number
- The colour, make and model (e.g. red Ford Focus)
- The exact location of the vehicle
If possible, please also provide the following:
- The time it can be seen on a public road
- The name and address of the owner
The information provided will be used for further investigations by the DVLA.
Illegally Parked vehicles
Vehicles that are illegally parked should be reported to Somerset County Council's Civil Parking Enforcement team here: Somerset County Council - Report an illegally parked vehicle
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.
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. This includes costs for abandonment of the vehicle.