Report an abandoned vehicle

The vehicle must be untaxed or SORN and meet one or more of the following criteria before we will carry out an inspection to deem whether it has been abandoned:

  • Significant bodywork damage
  • Broken windows or lights
  • Missing wheels
  • Flat tyres
  • Litter or weeds under the vehicle
  • Rusty brakes
  • Leaking fluids
  • Excessive waste in the vehicle
  • Unsecure
  • Possible fire risk

Although we can investigate vehicles on both public and private land, we will need to give notice to a private land owner prior to entering the land. If we are not given permission to do so, we will be unable to continue our investigation.

Before you make your report, please make sure you have the following pieces of information to hand:

  • Details of the vehicle including:
    • colour, make and model
    • vehicle registration number
    • how long it has been in the location
  • The location of the vehicle
  • Any additional evidence you have such as photos or videos

Please note all details received will be treated in the strictest of confidence and not disclosed to the target of your complaint. We may need to contact you for more information.

Report an abandoned vehicle

What happens next?

The case will be allocated to a neighbourhood officer who will visit the location and inspect the vehicle within three working days of being allocated your report. The case officer will contact you with an progress update on your report. From the time of the initial report it can take up to six weeks before the vehicle is removed, depending on the information response time from outside agencies.

For vehicles that do not have registration plates, are insecure or are burnt out, the inspection of the vehicle will normally be carried out within 24 hours of the report being allocated to an officer.

We have a duty under Section 3 of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978, to remove a vehicle which is abandoned in Cheltenham, on any land in the open air, or on any other land forming part of a highway. Under this act, abandoning a vehicle is a criminal offence, carrying a maximum penalty or a fine of £2,500 or three months' imprisonment or both.

If you need to discuss an existing case please contact 01242 264135.

Stolen or obstructive vehicles

If a vehicle is causing a serious obstruction to the highway, or if you think it’s stolen, please report this to the police by phoning 101. If you know who the owner of the vehicle is and the vehicle is on the highway but it is untaxed please contact the DVLA.