Abandoned Vehicles


abandoned car

How to identify an abandoned vehicle

An abandoned vehicle is a vehicle with no known owner. Many reports we receive are for vehicles that are not abandoned. If a vehicle is in poor condition, is an eyesore, or is untaxed, it does not necessarily mean that it is abandoned.

Before reporting an abandoned vehicle, please check that:

  • The vehicle has not moved for a minimum of 21 days, and
  • The vehicle shows signs of abandonment

Please collect as much information as possible. The minimum amount of information required is:

  • Location
  • Registration number
  • Make, model and colour

You can also upload photographs to the report.

Signs that a vehicle has been abandoned

The following points should help you make a judgement:

  • Is the vehicle taxed and does it have a valid MOT? Check if a vehicle is taxed and whether it has a valid MOT - If a vehicle is untaxed but has a valid MOT, you can report an untaxed vehicle to the DVLA
  • Are any of the tyres flat or have any of the wheels been removed? 
  • Is there any evidence (litter or weeds/leaves under the vehicle), indicating that it has not been moved for some time? 
  • Is the windscreen or any of the windows broken?  
  • Does the vehicle contain items of waste e.g. tyres, old newspapers, general rubbish? 
  • Does the vehicle have number plates? 
  • Has the vehicle been vandalised?

Report an abandoned vehicle

What happens after a report has been made

What we do once a vehicle has been reported as abandoned:

  • Check the vehicle for valid tax and MOT
  • Under certain circumstances, we may contact the police to check whether they have any interest in the vehicle. For example, if it has been stolen we are not able to remove it
  • Inspect, photograph and attach a seven or 15 day notice to the vehicle, (seven day for highway, 15 day for private land)
  • Complete a registered keeper check and write to them
  • Schedule a review of the vehicle for seven or 15 days from the day we send the letter to the registered keeper
  • Undertake a review of the vehicle and if it is still present instruct our contractor to uplift it

Abandoned vehicles policy

The purpose of our policy is to secure efficient compliance with legislation that allows us to remove abandoned vehicles. It has been developed to ensure that our approach is consistent, proportionate and transparent.

View our Abandoned Vehicles Policy 2018 [pdf] 246KB

Report an abandoned vehicle to Ashford Borough Council

How Ashford Borough Council uses your personal data

Please read our Privacy page, which explains how Ashford Borough Council (as a Data Controller) collects, uses and protects your personal data.

Report an abandoned vehicle

Please read how Ashford Borough Council uses your personal data and complete our abandoned vehicle form.

Multiple reports of the same vehicle will not expedite the removing of an abandoned vehicle.

Abandoned Vehicles FAQs

A Vehicle is untaxed but on a public road, can you remove it?+

The fact a vehicle is untaxed does not necessarily mean it has been abandoned.
Report an untaxed vehicle to the DVLA 

A vehicle is registered as SORN but parked on a public road; can you remove it?+

Vehicles registered as SORN but parked on a public road fall under the remit of the DVLA.
Report a SORN vehicle on the public highway to the DVLA.

A vehicle is driving round with no insurance; can you investigate?+

Vehicles being driven with no insurance fall under the remit of the police.
Report it by telephoning their non-emergency number 101.

A vehicle is taxed but has no valid MOT and is being used on the road; can you investigate?+

Taxed vehicles being used on the road (including parked vehicles) with no MOT fall under the remit of the police.
Report a vehicle with no MOT.

Can you remove a vehicle that:

• is causing an obstruction or in a dangerous position

• has been left in a dangerous position/condition after an accident

• is lost or stolen and has been dumped+

The police have the power to immediately remove any vehicle which is causing an obstruction or likely to cause danger.
Report it by telephoning their non-emergency number 101.

A vehicle has been left on the side of the road after an accident; can you remove it?+

If vehicle has been in a road traffic collision, it is not necessarily abandoned.
Vehicles that have been involved in a road traffic collision become the responsibility of the owner’s insurance company.

There is an emergency with a vehicle, e.g. spilt petrol or live wires; who do I report it to?+

Emergencies involving vehicles fall under the remit of the police.
Report it by telephoning their non-emergency number 101.

Do you deal with abandoned vehicles on private land?+

Vehicles on private land, including National Trust, Woodland Trust or housing association parking areas, should be reported to the landowner in the first instance.
We will not deal with abandoned vehicles on private land unless written permission is given by the landowner to deal with the vehicle in question.

Can you remove a vehicle that is parked on the highway (public road) outside my house+

Although the householder may not like this, it is not an offence.
A vehicle that moves location on a road (even infrequently) is not abandoned.

Someone parks their vehicle outside my house all the time, even though they do not live here; can they do this?+

If a vehicle is road legal and is parked on the highway, we have no powers to remove it.