Abandoned Vehicle

Identifying and Removing an Abandoned Vehicle

If you own a piece of private land and a car or other type of vehicle has been abandoned on it – you would want it removed as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, there are laws in the UK that prohibit moving another person’s vehicle, even if it is on your property.

To be able to legally remove and dispose of the vehicle, you have to take certain steps to satisfy that it has, indeed, been abandoned.

In this blog, we look at some of the ways to identify whether or not a vehicle classifies as abandoned:

How Long Has the Vehicle Been on the Property?

While we don’t expect you to keep a daily photographic diary of the vehicle on your land, we need to know that it has been there for some time and has not been moved in the interim. While there is not a specific timescale written in law, we would consider any vehicle left and not moved for more than one week to count as abandoned.


Is the Vehicle Intact?

Vehicles are more likely to be abandoned if they are damaged. In these cases, the vehicle may have been stolen, so the driver doesn’t care about any damage that might be inflicted. Common examples include removing the number plates to hamper identification of the vehicle and removing the tyres, either to prevent the vehicle from being driven away (flattening the tyres also achieves this) or to sell on for a profit. Other common types of damage to abandoned cars include smashed windscreens and windows, doors, boots and bonnets left open, and visibly damaged and vandalised interiors.


Environmental Indicators

Sometimes you can tell, just by looking, that a vehicle has been abandoned. For instance, if the vehicle is covered in rust or mould, that’s a good sign that it has been exposed to the elements for a considerable period of time. Likewise, if there are weeds or litter underneath the vehicle, that could imply that they have accumulated there while the vehicle has been stationary.


What Happens Next?

Once our Abandoned Vehicle Recovery team is satisfied that the vehicle classifies as abandoned, we can start taking steps towards having it removed. There are several steps involved in this process, including publicly displaying Abandoned Vehicle Notices on the vehicle, obtaining details of the Registered Keeper from the DVLA, informing them of our intention to remove the vehicle, and so on.

To find out more about the next steps and what we do with an abandoned vehicle once it has been removed, visit our Abandoned Cars page by clicking the link below.



If there is currently a car on your property that you believe is illegally parked, get in touch with Marpol Security today. We can send out an agent to inspect the vehicle and ask you a few questions, before deciding on the right way to proceed. For more information, call the team on 0808 562 7765, or 0161 737 9991 or email us at info@marpol.co.uk and see how we can help you.