When the local council is responsible:

If you believe that a vehicle has been abandoned on your road or any public road or on your property or home, complain to the environmental health department of the local council which has a duty as well as the power to remove such vehicles.

After inspecting the car or van, a council official, if she is satisfied that the vehicle has been abandoned, will decide whether it should be destroyed. If so he must fix a notice on the vehicle to warn the owner that, unless the vehicle is removed by the date stated, it will be removed and destroyed.

If the official decides the caris worth selling, he can arrange to have it removed at once, without notifying the owner. If it is on private property, however, he must obtain the property owner's permission to remove it. The local authority is released from its duty to clear an abandoned car from private property if the cost is out of all proportion to the nuisance it causes.

The money raised by selling an abandoned carbelongs to the owner, but the council is entitled to deduct any expenses it has had in removing and selling the vehicle. If the proceeds do not cover the expenses, the owner is liable to pay the balance.

Anyone who abandons a car or part of a vehicle on someone else's property is committing an offence, but he is likely to be prosecuted only if he abandoned the vehicle personally or authorised someone else specifically to do so.

Maximum penalties For a first offence, a £199 fine; for a subsequent offence, £500 and 3 months' imprisonment.

Tax and insurance still needed

The fact that a vehicle has been abandoned does not exempt the owner from needing MOTOR INSURANCE and a VEHICLE EXCISE LICENCE, unless it is in such a state that it would be impossible to get it going again.


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