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Abandoned Cars and Vehicles

What is an abandoned vehicle?

An abandoned vehicle is one that the owner has left, with no intention of returning to claim it.

The Council treats a vehicle as being abandoned if it has the following characteristics:-

  • Burnt out
  • Parked in an 'uncontrolled parking' zone (no parking meters, yellow lines or residents’ bays)
  • Poor condition/vandalised
  • Left for a prolonged period of time

The Council can deal with any abandoned vehicle that is in the open air. If a vehicle is parked on private land then permission is needed from the landowner before removal. If permission is not granted, notice can be served on the land owner requiring them to remove the vehicle within a prescribed time period.

If a vehicle is causing an obstruction on the highway, is burned out or is thought to be stolen or involved in crime, please report it to the police.

Vehicles should not be reported as abandoned to resolve neighbourhood disputes.  

How to identify an abandoned vehicle

Before you report an abandoned vehicle please collect as much information as possible. Is the vehicle actually abandoned? The following points should help:-

  • Are any of the tyres flat or have any of the wheels been removed?
  • Is there litter or detritus (weeds/leaves) under the vehicle, indicating that it has not moved for some time?
  • Is the windscreen or any of the windows broken?
  • Is there any mould on either the inside or outside of the vehicle?
  • Does the vehicle contain items of waste, such as tyres, old newspapers or general rubbish?
  • Does the vehicle have number plates?
  • Has the vehicle been ‘hot wired’, in other words driven without keys by connecting ignition wires together? (If it has, there will be wires hanging from the dashboard).
  • Has the vehicle been vandalised? Exterior vandalism might include dents in bodywork, graffiti, bumpers/spoilers being removed. Interior vandalism might include the radio being stolen or seat covers being slashed.
  • Has a vehicle that you and your neighbours have never seen before suddenly appeared in your road and no one is claiming ownership?

Basically, an abandoned vehicle is a vehicle which appears to have been given up or forsaken.

Report it

You can report an abandoned car or vehicle to Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council in the following ways:-

  • Online - using the Report an abandoned car online form.
  • By telephone - by calling 01782 717717
  • When reporting an abandoned vehicle to the Council you will be asked to provide as much of the following information about the vehicle as possible:-
  • Make and model (for example Ford Fiesta)
  • Colour
  • Registration number
  • Exact location
  • General condition of vehicle

Please note - if a vehicle is parked in a dangerous position and/or causing an obstruction, this should be reported to the police, who have powers to act.

After receiving a report that a vehicle is abandoned, an officer will make an inspection of the vehicle and confirm the details given about it. Enquiries will be made to the DVLA regarding the last registered owner of the vehicle.

If you think your vehicle has been removed by the Council and you wish to claim it back, please telephone Motor Clinic Recovery, telephone number 01782 332923.


Last updated 10 April 2019

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