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Abandoned motor vehicles


You can report unlicensed vehicles online through the DVLA website, see website in related information.

You can also contact your local police (via 101) although the procedure will vary from force to force. In some areas you will have to contact the local authority direct as they have a responsibility to remove such vehicles. In other force areas you need to contact the local police force first who in turn will contact the local authority. Your local police station will be able to advise you.

In all cases you will need the make and model of the car, the registration number and the location.


You should first make enquiries with your neighbours, in order to ascertain any information regarding the owner of the vehicle.
If this proves unsuccessful and you believe the vehicle is abandoned, you can report the vehicle to your local council via the link below:

GOV.UK - report an abandoned vehicle


If there is a burnt out car on your street, you should contact your local police force who in turn, will contact the appropriate organisation to remove the vehicle as soon as possible.


If you witness this happening, call your local police force on 999 with as much as information as possible.

If it has happened over a period of time, then contact your local police (via their 101 non-emergency number) with details of the vehicle and when it first appeared.

If you have any information regarding what has been taken from the car, this should also be passed on to the police.


In the first instance you should make enquiries with your neighbours to locate the owner of the car, which may lead to the car being moved.

However, if the car is fully taxed, insured, isn't causing an obstruction and is not in breach of any parking restrictions, the police cannot take any action. A car can park on any road (restrictions permitting) for any length of time. However, if the car hasn't moved and has been there for a number of weeks, then it may have been abandoned - you can report abandoned vehicles via the link below:

Report an abandoned vehicle


If the vehicle is blocking access to your driveway you should first make enquiries with the neighbours to see if they know who the car belongs to, so they can move it.

In most areas local councils have now taken on responsibility for enforcing parking provisions under what is known as Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE). Under CPE, it's an offence to park a vehicle that blocks a dropped kerb driveway. You can check if your local council has taken on CPE via the link below:

GOV.UK - CPE list

If your council has taken on CPE, you will usually need to report vehicles that are obstructing a dropped kerb directly to them – you can contact them via the link below:

GOV.UK - find your local council

If your local council hasn't taken on CPE, you will need to contact your local police force.

The police/council policy for dealing with such matters may vary between forces/councils. Some police forces may only attend if your car has been blocked in and you cannot get out.


Getting a vehicle removed from private land can potentially be a complicated matter. However, we would suggest the following:

If the vehicle is in a dangerous condition e.g. it's leaking petrol or contains dangerous items such as gas bottles, we would suggest you contact your local police via 101 or 999 if an emergency response is required.

If you think the vehicle is abandoned, we would suggest you contact your local council via the link below:

GOV.UK - find your local council

Councils must remove abandoned vehicles from both land in the open air and roads (including private roads). However, local council policies differ in relation to this, so we would suggest that the matter is discussed directly with them.

If the vehicle isn't abandoned or in a dangerous condition, you will need to seek legal guidance from a solicitor or the Citizens Advice via the links in the Related Information section. The options here would include obtaining a court order from a civil court for the removal of the vehicle or pursuing a civil action for nuisance against the driver/owner of the vehicle. However, it is worth noting that taking legal action can be a long and potentially expensive process but you may have some cover in relation to this on your house insurance.

Points to note:

  • Under no circumstances would we advocate you merely pushing the vehicle onto a road and leaving it there, as you may commit an offence.
  • Don't damage/clamp the vehicle or have it removed by a third party without first seeking legal advice. If you do this, you may commit a criminal offence or the owner may pursue a civil action against you.
  • You may be able to obtain the cost of having the vehicle removed from the vehicle owner but you will need to speak to your legal advisor about this.


If you rent the land, we would suggest that you speak to the landlord/council with a view to them taking action. If you own the land, you could consider employing a private parking company to issue parking tickets. However, practically speaking, using the law to deal with unauthorised vehicles that are parked on private land can be both time consuming and expensive. Usually, it is far more practical to take steps to restrict access using gates/barriers/fencing etc., to ensure that only those who are entitled to enter gain access. If the gates/barriers/fencing are damaged, then it may be possible to take action against those responsible for the offence of criminal damage.

Contact your local police force

Enter your town or postcode to see information from your local force

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