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Abandoned vehicles

When is a vehicle considered abandoned?

There is no legal definition of an 'abandoned vehicle'. A vehicle can only be considered to be abandoned by an Officer of the Council when it fulfills some or all of the following criteria:

  • if the vehicle appears to be damaged or un-roadworthy;
  • if it is kept unlawfully on the road whilst registered with a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification);
  • if the vehicle has been stationary for a significant period of time;
  • if it is parked in an area that is considered dangerous to pedestrians and other road users;
  • if it has flat tyres or missing wheels;
  • if there is waste inside or outside the vehicle;
  • if it is missing one or both of its registration plates;
  • if the owner or keeper cannot be identified, or fails to respond to a legal notice.

Just because a vehicle is poorly parked, or is not believed to belong to a resident in the road does not mean it is abandoned.

To report a vehicle:

  • Contact: Police Control Room
  • Telephone: 101

The police have the power to immediately remove any vehicle left in a position causing a danger or obstruction, particularly on the highway.

To tell us all the necessary details you can either:

  • use 'report it' to report an abandoned vehicle and to give us the exact location of the vehicle before completing the online form.
  • complete the abandoned vehicle report form
  • print and complete abandoned vehicle report form (PDF: 32Kb / 1 page)
    and return to the address at the bottom of the form.
  • telephone the Community Warden on 01768 817817, more details below.
  • please have the vehicle make, model and registration to hand when reporting a vehicle.

What we do

  • If a member of the public reports an abandoned vehicle to us our Community Warden will investigate the status of the vehicle. If our enquiries indicate that the vehicle may have been abandoned we will attempt to contact the owner to advise them on a course of action which may lead to its removal.
  • If we are unable to identify the owner, which can take some time, then we would look to take enforcement action and may issue a 24 hour or 7 day statutory notice to remove the vehicle, depending on its location. On expiry of this time period we would remove and dispose of the vehicle.
  • We may recover costs incurred in removing, storing and disposing of the vehicle from the owner or land owner as necessary.

Important changes to the display of tax discs

From the 1 October 2014 the DVLA do not require vehicles to display tax discs. All vehicles that require road tax will still need to be taxed though.

To check if a vehicle is taxed please visit the DVLA website on GOV.UK. You will need the full registration and the make of the vehicle. If a vehicle is untaxed or SORN and is being kept on the highway you can follow the link from this page to report it to the DVLA directly.

For further information or advice:

  • Contact: Community Warden
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 01768 817817
  • Fax: 01768 890732
  • Address: Eden District Council, Mansion House, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7YG
An abandoned vehicle left in Eden
This caravan was left near Haweswater in September 2014. There was no identifying information on the caravan so we have removed and destroyed it. Abandoning a vehicle ruins the look of an area and encourages further anti social behaviour.

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