Home   Roads and travel   Abandoned or untaxed vehicles

Abandoned or untaxed vehicles

We receive a high volume of complaints with regards to abandoned vehicles.

Most vehicles that are reported are simply untaxed, rather than abandoned. However, the public are rightly concerned by the effect of abandoned cars on their street environment, this includes:

  • the attraction of vandals
  • increased risk of other crime
  • risk of fire
  • general nuisance where parking is in short supply locally

DVLA information suggests that many abandoned cars have been operated unregistered, untaxed and are probably uninsured without a valid MOT Certificate.

Any parked car causing a traffic hazard or an illegally parked car which is in unsafe condition, is a matter for Police Scotland, not the Council. 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.

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.  

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 seven 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 vehicles

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).

If you are aware of a vehicle where the following circumstances apply, the vehicle should be reported directly to the DVLA.

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

You can use the DVLA Vehicle Enquiry Service to find out what information is held on its database about a vehicle. In order to make an enquiry, you will need the vehicle registration mark (number plate), and the vehicle's make.

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.