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Abandoned vehicles and the law


We aim to provide the best service possible when dealing with abandoned vehicles and work within legislation.
 

We are guided by three main pieces of legislation:

What is an abandoned vehicle?

A vehicle is abandoned if it does not appear to be in regular use and/or is not displaying a valid road disc (unless on private land with the landowner or occupier's permission) or no owner can be found for it.

What if the vehicle is in a river or other body of water?

There is a shared responsibility between the landowner, police and Environment Agency but you should report it to us so that we can investigate it.

What happens if the vehicle is on the highway and taxed?

We have no power to remove taxed vehicles. You should contact the police and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Do we deal with burnt out vehicles?

Burnt out vehicles are not just an eyesore, they represent a substantial risk to health. When a vehicle burns, it releases small quantities of hydofluoric acid which is corrosive. If you have touched a burnt out vehicle, wash your skin thoroughly. If you have touched a sticky component, wash your skin under cold running water for at least 15 minutes and get medical advice.
 

How do I claim a vehicle?

You will have to prove to us that you are the legal, registered keeper and that your vehicle is not abandoned. If it is in storage, you must pay any costs we have incurred. If you have abandoned a vehicle you may also be prosecuted, with a fine of up to £2,500 and up to three months in prison if you are found guilty.
 

What happens to unclaimed vehicles?

Wrecked, untaxed vehicles abandoned on the highway can be authorised for disposal after 24 hours. If the vehicle is in good condition, this can happen after seven days. Vehicles abandoned on all other land in the open air can be disposed of after a 15 day notice expires or sooner if the landowner/occupier confirms that the vehicle is not wanted on the land. Vehicles of a higher value will be taken into storage so that we can seek tenders for their sale and recoup some of the costs we have incurred.
 

How does the Council respond to a complaint of an abandoned vehicle?

Our enforcement officer will:

This information is available as a leaflet, if you would like a copy please email us on customerservicecentre@fareham.gov.uk or telephone us on 01329 236100.


How to report an abandoned vehicle

Fill in our abandoned vehicle report form



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Fareham Borough Council, Civic Offices, Civic Way, Hampshire, PO16 7AZ
Tel: +44 (0) 1329 236100 | Mobile Text/Photo: 07876 131415 | Fax: +44 (0) 1329 821770
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