We may investigate vehicles which are alleged to be abandoned. Abandonment is considered likely if at least one of the following applies:
- There is no registered keeper on the database and the vehicle is untaxed
- It has been stationary for a significant length of time
- It is significantly damaged, run down or unroadworthy
- It is burned out or in a state which could be an immediate risk to public safety
- The number plates are missing
If you abandon a vehicle you could receive a maximum fine of £2,500 and/or three months in prison. If we have to remove, store or destroy an abandoned vehicle, the owner is liable for the storage and/or disposal costs. We will also issue a fixed penalty notice of £200 to the owner.
The courts also have the power to disqualify a defendant from holding a driving licence for abandoning a vehicle. Disqualification can be instead of, or as well as, dealing with the defendant in another way.
Abandoning a vehicle on any land in the open air, or any other land forming part of a highway, is a criminal offence under Section 2 of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978. It can also be classed as 'hazardous waste' under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.