Report an abandoned vehicle

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 and untaxed please contact the DVLA.

What makes a vehicle ‘abandoned’?

The vehicle must be untaxed or SORN and meet one or more of the following criteria before we will carry out an inspection:

  • 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

Report an abandoned vehicle

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 condition the vehicle is in, making sure to reference any of the criteria listed above which apply
  • the date and time you saw the vehicle
  • the location of the vehicle
  • any electronic evidence you may have (a photo or video)

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?

Your report will be passed to a community protection officer to investigate.

For vehicles that do not have registration plates, are insecure or are burnt out, the inspection and removal of the vehicle will normally be carried out within 24 hours.

For all other vehicles, we will make an initial inspection within 24 hours of the report being received. 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.

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.