Nuisance and abandoned vehicles

Abandoned vehicles are a blight on local neighbourhoods, a health risk and can attract anti-social behaviour and crime.

Local Authorities and the Police have powers to remove abandoned vehicles. Nuisance Vehicles include those that are untaxed or advertised for sale or repaired on the road.

Criminal offence

It is a criminal offence under section 2(1) of the 1978 Act to abandon a vehicle. The maximum penalty for abandoning a vehicle is a fine of £2,500 or 3 months' imprisonmen, or both. There is also the option of offering a £200 Fixed Penalty Notice as an alternative to prosecution. Untaxed vehicles can be removed by the DVLA and local authorities that have delegated powers under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994.

Nuisance Parking offences can result in a prosecution under Sections 3 and 4 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. A Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 can be offered as an alternative. See:

Recent trends

For recent trends in the number of abandoned vehicles, see:

End of Life Vehicles Directive

In 2003, the End of Life Vehicles Directive (ELVD) came into effect. This Directive lays down measures to increase the amount of vehicle parts that are recyclable. It also makes it a duty for vehicle manufacturers to provide a series of authorised treatment facilities where there model can be processed free of charge at the end of their life.

Page last modified: 11 November 2008
Page published: 24 April 2003