When speaking with our current clients, we understand abandoned vehicles are a major issue for many within the parking industry. Not only do they have a negative impact on the environment, they look unsightly and take up valuable parking spaces.

The first step to try and remove the unwanted vehicle from private land would be to contact the local authority or police; they will then be able to confirm who will take responsibility to remove the unwanted vehicle and will investigate it in more detail, as the vehicle involved may be well known to police through crime or may be of value to the local authorities. Funds have been invested into computer links between the DVLA and local authorities, to make it easier to trace the vehicle owners.

Usually the local council will remove the vehicle for a small charge; however the landowner does not have to use the Council to remove an abandoned vehicle on their land. Private land includes residential car parks that are associated with private housing estates.

What information is required to report an abandoned vehicle?

  Vehicle Make, Model & Colour

  Vehicle Registration (if any is displayed)

  Condition of vehicle

  Does the vehicle have a valid tax disc?

  Location of the vehicle (try to go in as much detail as possible)

The Next Step – Removing the Abandoned Vehicle

It would be advisable to provide the motorist a grace period to remove the vehicle before taking action.I would recommend giving the motorist at least 14 days to remove it, you can do this by leaving a note on the vehicle or requesting the vehicle owner’s details from the DVLA.

Then send the vehicle owner a formal letter advising them of the 14 days they have until the vehicle is removed from your land (i.e. it is obstructing the lawful use of private land) and where you intend to move the vehicle to.

I would advise to send this by recorded delivery, and keep any proof of postage and a copy of the letter. A Form V888 from the DVLA will get you registered details so long as your request is considered legitimate. Once you have given reasonable notice that the car will be towed away and the reasons for it being towed away and its intended destination, then it is likely that you will have avoided liability under the aforementioned offence. In effect you will have shown that there was no intention of preventing the driver of the vehicle from retrieving their vehicle.