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?

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, to ensure others understand our procedures and to illustrate how we implement this. It ensures we are accountable, in order that others are better able to scrutinise how we operate.

View our Abandoned Vehicles Policy 2018 [pdf] 246KB

Report an abandoned vehicle to Ashford Borough CouncilReport 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.

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.