Abandoned Vehicles

Abandoned Vehicles and the Law

Local authorities are under a duty under Section 3 of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978, to remove a vehicle which is abandoned in their area, on any land in the open air, or on any other land forming part of a highway. This function has been delegated to Island Roads by the Isle of Wight Council. Under this Act, abandoning a vehicle is a criminal offence, carrying a maximum penalty of a fine of £2,500 or three months’ imprisonment, or both.

Island Roads have the power to recover costs of removal, storage and disposal from the person responsible for the abandonment of the vehicle. This can mean “the owner of the vehicle at the time when it was put in the place from which it was removed, unless he/she can show that he/she was not concerned in and did not know of its being put there”.

A vehicle should not be considered abandoned solely on the grounds that it is not displaying a valid tax disc. Untaxed cars that are not abandoned should be reported to the DVLA on their free phone number 0800 325 202.