The first stop for reporting abandoned vehicles is your local council

Councils must remove abandoned vehicles from both:

  • Land in the open air
  • Roads (including private roads).

When removing vehicles from occupied land, councils can't charge occupiers.

Councils must give landowners or occupiers 15 days' notice.

National park authorities must remove vehicles abandoned in national parks.

Authorities don't have to remove abandoned vehicles if the cost of moving them to the nearest highway is unreasonably high (for example, if special machinery is needed), unless the vehicle is on a carriageway.

Authorities can't be held liable for damage resulting from abandoned cars.

The local councils will arrange for the vehicle to be removed and will check with local police and the DVLA to establish if there is anything the police need to know about or to try to locate the owner.

When the police can help

The matter will only be a police issue if one of the following applies:

  • Vehicle looks like it has been in a recent accident
  • Or has been broken into
  • Blocking a carriage way, likely to cause an accident.

The vehicle will be check against our systems to ensure it has not been reported as stolen or involved in an incident.

To report an abandoned vehicle:

Report an abandoned vehicle to Wiltshire Council online or 0300 456 0100 (general enquiries number)

Report an abandoned vehicle to Swindon Borough Council online or 01793 445500 (general enquiries number).

Useful websites:

Local authority responsibilities on abandoned vehicles explained online.

FAQs on Wiltshire Council website on how they deal with abandoned vehicles


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