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Abandoned vehicles

Since the introduction of a charge for the disposal of redundant vehicles along with the fall in scrap metal values, there has been a significant rise in the numbers of abandoned vehicles.

What is an abandoned vehicle?

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An abandoned vehicle is one that appears not to be in regular use and has been in the same place for a significant period of time. This may also include caravans and trailers should the chassis be intact.

Just because a vehicle is in poor condition and/or out of tax does not necessarily mean that it is abandoned and therefore on occasions additional enquiries may have to be made to establish whether or not the vehicle is abandoned before the Council can remove it.

Vehicles that are illegally parked should be reported to the Council's Civil Parking Enforcement team, details on the civil parking enforcement pages.

Vehicles that are obstructively or dangerously parked, irrespective of whether a vehicle is taxed or not, Must be reported to the police as they can arrange for the vehicle to be dealt with immediately.

Report abandoned vehicles online

To report an abandoned vehicle we need:-

  • The location of the vehicle (outside house no....., opposite......).
  • The make and colour of the vehicle?
  • The registration no. of the vehicle?
  • How long has it been in it's current position?
  • What is the general condition of the vehicle?

Once reported we visit the site to investigate if the vehicle is abandoned. If it is, the possible courses of action are:

  • If the vehicle is only fit for destruction it may be removed and destroyed immediately.
  • If the vehicle does not display any registration mark it may be removed and destroyed immediately.
  • If the vehicle does not fall into either category above a seven day notice of removal will be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle, as held by the DVLA.
  • If there is a vehicle registration number undertake a trace of the last known keeper using the DVLA online service

The costs for removal, destruction or storage of abandoned vehicles is recovered from the last known keeper. Non-payment will result in action being taken in the County Court.

If the vehicle did not display a registration mark a second trace of the last known keeper will be established, where possible, from the VIN number provided by the destruction centre.

View the number of requests Cornwall Council has received with regards to abandoned vehicles for the last three financial years and quarter one to quarter three of 2020-2021.

Remember until the DVLA receive new keeper details you will remain liable for the car tax and any fines or costs run up by that vehicle.

When you sell your vehicle:-

  • Complete the blue part of the registration document with the purchaser's name and address (the purchaser should sign the declaration to confirm these details).
  • Sign the declaration yourself and send the blue part only to the DVLA at Swansea.
  • Complete the green part with the purchaser's details and give it to the new keeper.
  • Only complete the red part when selling to a member of the motor trade.
  • Don't give the whole document to the buyer for them to complete, you will only be leaving yourself open to problems at a later date.