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Cardiff Council

Abandoned vehicles

​​What is classed as an abandoned vehicle?

A vehicle may be considered abandoned if it in the open air or on the highway and: 

  • Has no registered keeper, or
  • Is significantly damaged, burnt out, vandalised, is run down or not roadworthy, or
  • Is missing essential parts, for example, registration plates.

It is an offence to unlawfully abandon any vehicle in the open air or on the highway. The Council operates a service to remove abandoned vehicles under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

When someone reports a vehicle as abandoned we have a legal duty to ensure that every effort is made to contact the legal owner of the vehicle. This is to confirm that the vehicle is actually abandoned. Arrangements to remove and dispose of the vehicle cannot be made until this is clearly established.

We will attempt to contact the last registered keeper by letter asking for them to contact us. If the keeper fails to contact us, we can remove the vehicle after 7 days. If a vehicle is claimed by the registered keeper the Council has no grounds to remove the vehicle and no further action will be taken. 

All vehicles without tax, or a vehicle parked on a public road with a Statutory off Road Notification (SORN) should be reported​​​​​​​​.​​​​​​​

The council only currently removes vehicles from private land if the request comes from the land owner.

If a land owner wants a vehicle removed from their property they must first try to trace the owner of the vehicle. The land owner can contact the DVLA to ask them to trace the vehicle owner. If this is unsuccessful the land owner can contact the police to see if they have any interest in the vehicle. The land owner has the right to remove the vehicle. 


The Council will remove a vehicle on behalf of a land owner providing they can show that they have made all reasonable efforts to contact the vehicle owner (for example, quoting a police incident number and providing the Council with copies of any correspondence). Land registry documents must all be provided to the council, including register view and title plan of the land.​​

Details should be sent to​​

Reporting an abandoned vehicle​

If you believe the vehicle is abandoned, causing a hazard or safety issue then please supply the following details so we can investigate:

  • Exact location (e.g. opposite number 36, smith street)
  • Vehicle Registration Mark (if vehicle has plates)​
  • Vehicle Make, Colour, Model (if known)
  • Condition (e.g. broken window/scratches)
  • Land ownership (if known)​

Where this information is not provided the Council may not be able to identify the correct vehicle and take the necessary action.

Report it


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