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Abandoned vehicles

How to identify an abandoned vehicle

abandoned carBefore you report an abandoned vehicle please collect as much information as possible.

Over 90% of reports that we receive are for vehicles that are not abandoned.

The following points should help you make a judgement:

  • Is the vehicle untaxed - check here
  • Are any of the tyres flat or have any of the wheels been removed? 
  • Is there any evidence (litter or weeds/leaves under the vehicle), indicating that it has not been moved for some time? 
  • Is the windscreen or any of the windows broken? 
  • Is there any mould on either the inside or outside the vehicle? 
  • Does the vehicle contain items of waste eg tyres, old newspapers, general rubbish? 
  • Does the vehicle have number plates? 
  • Has the vehicle been vandalised? Exterior vandalism might include dents in bodywork, or bumpers or spoilers being removed. Interior vandalism might include the radio being stolen, seat covers being slashed. 
  • Has a vehicle that you or your neighbours have never seen before suddenly appeared in your road and no-one is claiming ownership?

Do not enter the abandoned vehicle. They are a health and safety risk, can be classed as, or contain hazardous waste and can often pose a fire risk. On some occasions, abandoned vehicles have been used for crime related activities, in which case the police may wish to seize the vehicle for investigation purpose.

We can only investigate abandoned vehicles on private land/car park with the permission of the land owner. Please ensure that you are the land owner if you are reporting an abandoned vehicle on private land or a private car park. 

Report an abandoned vehicle » 


How we deal with abandoned vehicles

When a vehicle is reported as abandoned we must check that it is actually abandoned and cannot remove or dispose of it until this is clearly established. We carry out the following steps and procedures:

  • Checks are made through the DVLA, the vehicle is visited and assessed using the criteria above.
  • If the vehicle is possibly abandoned, depending on the location and condition either a 24 hour, 7 day or 15 day notice will be placed on the vehicle.
  • After the notice period has expired, if the vehicle has not been claimed or moved, the vehicle is removed and becomes the jurisdiction of the Kent County Council who decide which further action should be taken.

Further information