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Abandoned and Obstructing Vehicles

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The Problem

Abandoned vehicles generate significant economic, environmental and social costs.

Abandoned vehicles are not only an eyesore they are a danger and encourage other forms of anti-social 

Abandoned Vehicle1
behaviour. Hundreds of thousands of old cars are dumped on the streets of Britain.

The Borough Council operates a service to remove abandoned vehicles from the highway or council owned land.  

It is Council policy to deal with abandoned vehicles as quickly as possible, and to keep to a minimum the problems they cause. 

The Scheme

In order to limit the problems associated with vehicles being left on the street, the notice period for removing vehicles once they are deemed abandoned is 24 hours. Abandoned vehicles are affixed with a 24 hour notice. If vehicles remain on site after the notice period has elapsed they are removed.

In addition, Gosport Borough Council now has direct links to the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) which will enable the registered owner to be more quickly identified and speed up the process of dealing with abandoned vehicles. Untaxed vehicles left on the public highway are reported to the DVLA.

The vast majority of motorists pay their vehicle tax with latest figures confirming that over 99% of motorists' tax their vehicles on time. Most on-road enforcement action by the DVLA is now based on using Automatic Number Plate Readers.  The police also have access to DVLA records via the police national computer.

You can check the tax status of any vehicle including those abandoned at 

What are the signs that a vehicle may be abandoned?

A vehicle may be abandoned if it is;

  • Untaxed
  • Burnt out
  • Damaged/vandalised
  • Stationary for a significant amount of time
  • lacking one or more of its number plates
  • containing waste
  • wheels removed, flat tyres or broken windows

What happens once I have reported an abandoned vehicle?

  1. The vehicle will be assessed by a Gosport Borough Council Enforcement Officer to determine whether in his/her belief the vehicle is abandoned.
  2. If this is the case, the vehicle will be affixed with a 24 hour notice.
  3. The Officer will then contact the DVLA to identify the registered owner.
  4. After 24 hours the vehicle will be photographed and removed.

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It is against the law to abandon a vehicle (Refuse Disposal Amenity Act 1978) and if convicted can cost up to £2,500 or 3 months in prison.

What if my car has been moved?

An abandoned vehicle may be towed away within 24 hours and most will then be destroyed. Only vehicles in a very good condition will be stored, while efforts are made to trace the owner. Owners will have to satisfy the Council that they are the legitimate owner of a vehicle and produce a V5 registration document/log book and proof of ID before they can be returned and the costs recovered.

What happens if the vehicle I reported is discovered not to be adandoned?

The investigating Enforcement Officer may discover information leading to belief that the vehicle is not abandoned. In this case the council will probably not have power to remove the vehicle or take action against the owner.

Vehicles causing an obstruction can only be dealt with by the police.

Vehicles parked in contravention of Traffic Regulation Orders (e.g double-yellow lines) can only be dealt with by Hampshire County Council through their contractor NSL. They can be reported using the following link:

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