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Abandoned or untaxed vehicles

We receive lots of complaints about abandoned vehicles.

Abandoned vehicles in your neighbourhood can:

  • attract vandals
  • increase the risk of crime
  • increase the risk of fire
  • create a nuisance where parking is in short supply

Any parked vehicle causing a traffic hazard, or an illegally parked vehicle in an unsafe condition, is a matter for Police Scotland.

All cars reported to us are checked against DVLA records. These sometimes indicate that a car which looks abandoned is in fact registered and taxed.

Most vehicles reported to us are untaxed, rather than abandoned.

We can investigate and act on abandoned vehicles. Examples include vehicles that:

  • (A) have no current vehicle keeper on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) record
  • (B) have been stationary for a significant amount of time
  • (C) are significantly damaged, run down or unroadworthy condition
  • (D) are burned out
  • (E) are lacking one or more of its number plates
  • (F) contain waste

Please note: Category (C) could include vehicles with flat tyres, wheels removed or broken windows.

This also includes vehicles that are on privately owned land where the land is open and accessible to the public.

Report an abandoned vehicle

It is an offence to abandon a vehicle.  

To report and abandoned vehicle you will need:

  • the precise location of the vehicle
  • the make, model, colour and, if available, registration number
  • information, such as approximate length of time the vehicle has been at this location
  • for caravans, trailers etc a description of the vehicle

Report abandoned vehicle

What happens next?

If a vehicle is deemed to be abandoned by us it will be removed after a period of 7 days has elapsed from notice being served on the vehicle and the last registered keeper of the vehicle.

In the case of a vehicle which is considered to be a hazard it will be removed after 24 hours has elapsed from a 24 hour removal notice being been served on the vehicle.

Most abandoned vehicles are consigned to be scrapped. Very occasionally a vehicle may be sold at public auction.

Report an untaxed vehicle

Some cars reported as abandoned are not in fact abandoned. They are being used untaxed or hold a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN). Vehicles that are declared SORN must be kept on private property only and not on the public highway. Untaxed Vehicles should be reported to the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

The vehicle should be reported to the DVLA when:

  • there is no valid car tax recorded against the vehicle
  • the vehicle is being stored on the highway

Use the DVLA Vehicle Enquiry Service to find information about a vehicle. You will need the vehicle make and registration mark (number plate).

Report untaxed vehicle 

We would like the public to be responsible when reporting any abandoned vehicles by taking note of the information above and report vehicles to the correct people.