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.
Two things must occur for a vehicle to be abandoned:
- An act by the owner that clearly shows that they have given up rights to the vehicle
- An intention that demonstrates that the owner has knowingly relinquished control over it
Inaction, that is, a failure to do something with the vehicle or non-use of it is not enough to demonstrate that the owner has relinquished rights to the property, even if such non-use has gone on for a number of weeks or months.
The council will only consider looking into an abandoned vehicle if it has been left in the same place for (usually) three to six months.
If you suspect a vehicle to be abandoned you can report it to us, and enquiries may commence to establish whether the vehicle is legally considered abandoned. We will remove any genuinely abandoned vehicles from the public highway. We can remove any genuinely abandoned vehicles from private land with the consent of the landowner.
What is an abandoned vehicle?
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
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?
- First check if the vehicle is taxed (or registered as off the road)
- If it is, we do not consider it as abandoned - do not report it
- If it isn't, and the vehicle is clearly unroadworthy, report the vehicle as abandoned and include a photograph of the vehicle
- Alternatively call us on 01524 582000
Please provide as much of the following information about the vehicle as possible:
- One or more photographs of the vehicle
- Make and model (eg Ford Fiesta)
- Registration Number
- Exact location (eg outside number 7 George Street, Lancaster)
- General condition of vehicle
- How long it has been at the location
Last updated: 05 July 2023