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Abandoned vehicles

Under the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 the council may remove abandoned vehicles from: 

  • land in the open air
  • roads (including private roads)

Council owned land

The regulations only affect vehicles on public land and highways, not private land.

Private land

Private land includes all residential car parks that are associated with private housing estates.  For vehicles abandoned on private land the Council can remove abandoned vehicles if requested by the landowner, but the landowner must take legal and financial responsibility.  The landowner can contact the Council for further specialist advice.

Public land

Abandoned vehicles will usually meet the following criteria:

  • Vehicle is in generally poor condition, damaged, run down or unroadworthy.
  • Vehicle stationary for a significant amount of time (more than 60 days).
  • Litter/weeds etc, are present underneath the vehicle
  • The vehicle may have waste stored inside
  • Vehicle has flat tyres
  • Mould present inside or outside of the vehicle
  • Windscreen or windows are broken
  • The vehicle is burned out
  • One or more number plates are missing

The above list is provided for guidance; the vehicle would not necessarily have to be displaying the full list to be considered abandoned.
The Council is unlikely to remove a vehicle that is taxed and in good condition unless there is strong evidence to confirm the vehicle is abandoned.

Nuisance vehicles

Nuisance vehicles are often poorly parked, causing an obstruction, or are involved in parking disputes. The Council cannot take any action against a vehicle that is deemed to be a nuisance rather than abandoned.
If the vehicle is parked on private land please report the vehicle to the landowner first.
If the vehicle is causing an obstruction on the highway please report it to Cheshire Police using non-emergency number 101.

Untaxed/SORN vehicles

All untaxed vehicles and/or vehicles believed to be SORN and parked on the highway should be reported to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

To check if a vehicle is taxed, please use the attached link.

To report a vehicle to the DVLA, please use the following link.

Burned out or stolen vehicles

If a vehicle has been burned out, or you think it may have been stolen, or is causing an obstruction on the Highway, please report it to Cheshire Police on non-emergency number 101.

What to do about abandoned vehicles parked on public land

You should:

  • Make a note of the vehicle’s registration number and make
  • Make a note of the day, date and time you saw the vehicle and its exact location

Consider the following:

  • Has the vehicle been in the same location for more than two months?
  • Does the vehicle have a valid MOT (Check here)
  • Does the vehicle have weeds/refuse under or around it?
  • Does the vehicle have flat tyres?
  • Does the vehicle have rusty brake discs?
  • Is the vehicle secure upon visual inspection?

If the answer to the majority of the above questions is yes, please report the vehicle to the Council below:

Anonymous referrals may be logged for intelligence purposes only. Please provide contact details so we can investigate this vehicle as effectively as possible.

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