We have a duty under section 3 of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978, to remove a vehicle which is abandoned in our area, on any land in the open air, or on any other land forming part of the highway. This does not cover vehicles abandoned on private land.
What is an abandoned vehicle?
A vehicle is only abandoned where it appears to the local authority that a motor vehicle in their area is abandoned without lawful authority on any land in the open air or on any other land forming part of a highway (Refuse Disposal Amenity Act 1978) This means that a vehicle is only abandoned when the authorised officer decides that it is abandoned.
Abandoned vehicles are not:-
- Badly parked vehicles or vehicles that are causing an obstruction
- Broken down vehicles
Untaxed vehicles, these should be reported to the DVLA
How can you tell if a vehicle is abandoned?
The following points may indicate that a vehicle has been abandoned:
- Is the vehicle taxed? (This should not be the sole consideration)
- Are the tyres flat?
- Is there any litter, weeds etc under the vehicle indicating that it has not been moved for some time?
- Are the brake discs rusty?
- Is the window screen or any of the windows broken?
- Is mould present on either the inside or the outside of the vehicle?
- Does the vehicle contain items of waste, for example tyres?
- Does the vehicle have a number plate?
How do we deal with abandoned vehicles?
Once we receive a report of an abandoned vehicle, council officers will inspect the vehicle to determine whether or not it is abandoned. Boston Borough Council will make all reasonable efforts to establish contact with the owner and give a period of time to remove. If no keeper details are found a seven day notice will be affixed to the vehicle or a one day notice, if the vehicle is regarded to be a danger to the public.
Upon expiry of the notice, we will check that the vehicle is still at the location. If the vehicle is still at the location, we will arrange for the vehicle to be removed and disposed of.
How do I report an abandoned vehicle?
If you suspect that a vehicle has been abandoned, please fill in Abandoned vehicles report form and submit this form. The following details should be reported:
- Registration number
- Make and model (for example, Ford Fiesta)
- Exact location
- Indication of how long it has been there.
How do I report an untaxed vehicle?
Vehicles kept on the road must be taxed.
The DVLA has powers to deal with road tax (vehicle excise licence) evasion. The offence may be reported to the DVLA either online at DVLA home page, or by calling the DVLA public hot line 08000 325 202
If your vehicle is under a SORN declaration (statutory of the road notice) you must arrange to have it stored off the public highway with the landowner's permission.
Burnt-out vehicles should be reported as a matter of urgency and removed as a matter of urgency owing to the dangerous chemical reaction they give off when burnt out and therefore hazardous if touched.
Never approach a burning or burnt out vehicle, even after they are burnt out. They are still dangerous and are a hazard to the public. A burning vehicle fire will consume 500kgs of plastic material and toxic chemicals such as hydrogen cyanide and hydrofluoric acid will be given off.