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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 isn't showing a valid tax disc, or is kept 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 displaying an expired tax disc, is poorly parked, or is not believed to belong to a resident in the road does not mean it is abandoned.

Report an untaxed vehicle to the DVLA on GOV.UK.

Eden District Council will not remove untaxed vehicles, the DVLA are responsible for this. Please use the link above to report untaxed vehicles, however you may wish to check first if it is taxed but not correctly displaying the disc. Please read the section below 'Important changes to the display of tax discs' to do this.

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:

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 (opens new window). You will need the full registration and the make of the vehicle.

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
Abandoned Vehicle

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