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Home / Streets & Transport / Adandoned Vehicles

Abandoned Vehicles



What is an abandoned vehicle?

Bournemouth Borough Council is responsible for removing abandoned vehicles from the roads and highways around the town.

Abandoned vehicles are expensive to remove, have a negative impact on the environment, look unsightly and can lower the quality of life in neighbourhoods. They can be the result of, or lead to crime, take up valuable parking spaces and can quickly become dangerous when vandalised or filled with hazardous waste.


How do I identify if a vehicle is abandoned?

Before you report an abandoned vehicle please check to see if you think the vehicle really is abandoned to avoid wasting valuable Council time. Check the following:

  • Is the vehicle untaxed i.e. no tax disc present at all or past the expiry date?
  • Are any of the tyres flat or have any of the wheels been removed?
  • Is there litter or detritus (weeds/leaves) under the vehicle, indicating that it has not moved for some time?
  • Is the windscreen or any of the windows broken?
  • Is there any mould on either the inside or outside of the vehicle?
  • Does the vehicle contain items of waste e.g. tyres, old newspapers, general rubbish?
  • Does the vehicle have number plates?
  • Has the vehicle been ‘hot-wired’ i.e. driven without keys by connecting ignition wires together? (If it has, there will be wires hanging from the dashboard.)
  • Has the vehicle been vandalised? Exterior vandalism might include dents in bodywork, graffiti,  bumpers/spoilers being removed; interior vandalism might include radio being stolen, seat covers being slashed.
  • Has a vehicle that you and your neighbours have never seen before suddenly appeared in your road and no-one is claiming ownership?

Why do people abandon vehicles?

Unfortunately, there is no one definitive reason why people abandon vehicles. In fact, there are a wide variety of reasons why vehicles are abandoned including:

  • Changes in the value of scrap metal
  • The removal of leaded petrol from sale
  • Some drivers are not the registered owner and keeper of the vehicle, they have no road tax, no insurance, no MOT and as a result, have no legal connection with the vehicle, therefore once the vehicle becomes unwanted, abandonment is the only option
  • The high cost of motoring, including charges incurred from speeding fines, parking fines, congestion charges, etc. Often the value of the charges is greater than the value of the vehicle itself, therefore abandonment is the cheaper option
  • The high cost of maintaining and repairing the vehicle when it is old
  • The vehicle has been involved in criminal activity
  • The increase in MOT failure rate, as some older vehicles cannot meet the standard required on

    exhaust emissions

  • Personal circumstances of the owner e.g. death of the owner, owner suffering ill health,

    owner in prison, owner moved away from the area.

How do I report an abandoned vehicle?

Please tell us the exact location of the vehicle, the registration number, the make, model and colour, and if you know it, the date or approximate date of when it was abandoned and the expiry date of any tax displayed.  



By working together we can keep Bournemouth a Cleaner, Safer, Greener place to live and visit  

Related Information


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St Stephens Road, Bournemouth, Dorset
Telephone 01202 451451
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