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Abandoned vehicles

If you suspect a vehicle to be abandoned you can report it to us and we will remove any genuinely abandoned vehicles from the public highway.

What is an abandoned vehicle?

An abandoned vehicle is one that appears not to be in regular use and has been left in the same place for an unusually long period of time, usually two weeks or more.

A vehicle that is causing a nuisance, in poor condition or out of road tax may not necessarily be abandoned although most abandoned vehicles typically display at least one of the following signs:

  • Flat tyres or removed wheels
  • Vegetation and/or rubbish in and around the car
  • Broken windscreen or windows
  • Excessive rust or mould
  • No number plates
  • Wires hanging from the dashboard
  • Damage or vandalism

On occasion we will have to make additional enquiries to establish whether or not the vehicle is abandoned before it can be removed.

If a vehicle is on private land we must first serve a notice on the landowner who then has 15 days to remove or claim the vehicle before we can take action. Once the 15 days have expired the vehicle will be treated as if it was abandoned on the highway.

The police also have the power to immediately remove any vehicle which is left abandoned in breach of local traffic regulation orders, is causing an obstruction or is likely to cause danger.

How do I report an abandoned vehicle?

Please provide as much of the following information about the vehicle as possible:

  • Make and model (eg Ford Fiesta)
  • Colour
  • Registration Number
  • Exact location (eg outside number 7 George Street, Lancaster)
  • General condition of vehicle
  • How long it has been at the location

Further Information

  • We aim to begin investigations within 24 hours. The maximum time taken to begin investigations will be 3 working days.
  • We aim to remove vehicles in 24 hours from the point at which we are entitled to do so.





01524 582491

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