Abandoned vehicles | South Norfolk Council

Abandoned vehicles

We can remove vehicles when we consider them to have been abandoned by their owner. If the vehicle is on private land it can only be removed with the landowner's consent.

What is an abandoned vehicle?

Just because a vehicle is untaxed, has no MOT, is poorly parked, not owned by a resident in the road or is awaiting recovery having broken down, it does not mean that is has been abandoned.

There is no legal definition of an ‘abandoned vehicle’ but an abandoned vehicle will usually:

In addition we will take the following factors into account when deciding whether a vehicle has been abandoned: 

  • The age and appearance of the vehicle.
  • The value of the vehicle.
  • The overall condition of the vehicle for example, have flat tyres, rusted brake discs, rainwater damage, have significant damage, contain waste, have mould on the inside.
  • The presence of a number plate 
  • Apparent roadworthiness 
  • Security 
  • Proximity of the vehicle to the registered address of the owner/last registered keeper.

How to report an abandoned vehicle  

If you consider a vehicle which is untaxed and has not been moved for at least 21 days to be abandoned, please report it to us.

We will:

  • Usually inspect the vehicle within ten working days
  • Check if the vehicle is either taxed or registered as SORN and has a valid MOT
  • Try to trace the owner of the vehicle which may include placing a note on the windscreen asking them to contact us.

If after our investigations we believe the vehicle is abandoned, we will:

  • Request details of the last registered keeper from DVLA
  • Serve a legal notice on any owner/registered keeper we can find and normally affix a seven day notice on the vehicle windscreen. However, if the vehicle is clearly damaged and unroadworthy then we may give less notice
  • If the vehicle is on private land, a notice will be served on the landowner(s) giving them 15 days to object to the vehicle’s removal.

We will have the vehicle removed if it is still present once the notice period has ended, unless the vehicle owner has claimed it or any landowner has objected.

Once removed, the vehicle is the responsibility of Norfolk County Council for disposal. The registered keeper of the vehicle is invoiced for the cost of collection, storage while ownership is determined and final disposal.

The owner of the vehicle may also be liable to prosecution or a fixed penalty notice for abandoning the vehicle.

We have no powers to take action regarding vehicles with no MOT.

If the vehicle does not have MOT and is on the road you can report it to the Police on 101 (non emergency number) - as the Police can issue the owner with a fine.  You can find more information on GOV.UK. They will require the vehicle’s:

  • Number plate (registration number)
  • Make and model
  • Colour
  • Location.