Report an abandoned vehicle

Before reporting an abandoned vehicle, please check to see if you think the vehicle really is abandoned. A vehicle is abandoned if one or more of the following applies: 

  • It has been stationary for a long time (at least 3 weeks)
  • It is burned out, significantly damaged, run down or not safe to drive
  • It has no keeper on the DVLA’s database and is untaxed – you can check if a vehicle is taxed on the DVLA website
  • It has number plates missing

Vehicles that are parked inconveniently are not classed as abandoned vehicles unless they meet the criteria above. If the vehicle is causing an obstruction, please report it to Thames Valley Police online or by calling 101.

Dealing with untaxed vehicles which are not considered to be abandoned is the responsibility of the DVLA. You can report untaxed vehicles to the DVLA.

You can report an abandoned vehicle to us. We will need as much information as possible, including:

  • a detailed location of the vehicle, please include street names, house numbers, landmarks etc
  • vehicle make, model and colour
  • registration number
  • whether the vehicle is burnt out or not
  • the date (or approximate date) when it was abandoned.

​We will investigate abandoned vehicles on the highway. If the abandoned vehicle is on private land, the landowner or managing agent should report it and we will provide advice.

What happens next

We investigate reports of an abandoned vehicles within 5 working days. If the vehicle seems to be abandoned we contact the registered keeper asking them to contact us within 7 days if they wish to claim the vehicle.  

If a vehicle is in a dangerous condition, for example, it is burned out, has broken windows or is significantly damaged, we will have it removed within 24 hours.

If the registered keeper claims the car, no further action is taken. If the vehicle is not claimed, we will remove it and store it for up to 2 weeks. After that it will be disposed of. The registered keeper will have to pay a release fee of £108 and storage costs of £12 per day if they want to claim their removed vehicle.

Abandoning a vehicle is a criminal offence for which the maximum fine is £2,500. We can issue the registered keeper of an abandoned vehicle with a fixed penalty notice of £200 as an alternative to prosecution. The fixed penalty must be paid within 14 days.