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Home: Ashford Borough Council

Abandoned Vehicles

abandoned carMost vehicles reported to the council as ‘abandoned’ turn out not to be, but are just vehicles parked in a place considered a nuisance.

Road legal?

If a vehicle is road legal, parked on the public highway and the owner tells us it is not abandoned we have no power to remove it. We also have no power to make the vehicle owner move the vehicle.

Even if a vehicle is not road legal we can only remove it if it is either in a dangerous condition or is genuinely abandoned.

If you know that the vehicle is being used, please do not report it as an abandoned vehicle.

Offences relating to lack of insurance, MOT etc  should be reported to the Police (call 101). Untaxed vehicles can be reported directly to the DVLA.

21 day rule

Vehicles which are reported as abandoned will not be investigated until a minimum of 21 days after the first report, unless the vehicle is burnt out or a potential danger to the public (damaged sections, fuel spillage etc). After 21 days you will be contacted to check to see if the vehicle is still there and has not moved. If you do not respond it wil be presumed that the vehicle is no longer abandoned.

Dangerous parking

A vehicle which is deemed to be dangerous just because of where it is parked (e.g. on a junction or bend) is a matter for the Police (please call 101, or 999 only in an emergency).

Clearly, only the police can deal with an immediate danger. Kent Police's advice about illegal parking.

Frequently asked questions

How do I know if a vehicle is abandoned?

  • One or more tyres flat
  • Presence of litter, rusty brake discs, weeds under the vehicle indicating that it has not been moved for a considerable period of time
  • Broken windscreen or windows
  • Presence of mould on the inside of the vehicle
  • Presence of waste inside the vehicle
  • Absence of number plates

A vehicle which comes and goes is NOT abandoned.

What happens when a vehicle is on private land?

There is no obligation for the local authority to deal with abandoned vehicles on private land.

If you have a vehicle on your land-

The Police have given advice on this subject on their website. Visit ask the Police.

How quickly will a burnt out or damaged vehicle be removed?

Damaged and obviously abandoned vehicles which have been left in a position where they are a risk or danger to the public will be removed as quickly as possible.

In the case of burnt out or unidentifiable vehicles, the Police may need to carry out a forensic investigation before the vehicle can be removed.

How quickly are other vehicles removed?

Vehicles on the highway or verge that appear to be abandoned, after the initial 21 day period, but pose no immediate risk to the amenity or local residents are removed after the seven day notice.

My vehicle has been removed. What do I do?

Once a vehicle has been removed please contact Kent County Council 03000 413322.

Report it logoHow do I report an abandoned vehicle?

Please give all the information required otherwise we will be unable to deal with your report.

You must check before you make a report to see if the vehicle is taxed and has a valid MOT as a vehicle is not abandoned and wil not be dealt with if it has.

Please complete our abandoned vehicle form.


Note: Questions marked by * are mandatory