What are the impacts and effects of abandoned vehicles?
Abandoned vehicles are expensive to remove, have a negative impact on the environment, look unsightly and can lower the quality of life in neighbourhoods. They can be the result of, or lead to crime, they take up valuable parking spaces and can quickly become dangerous when vandalised or filled with hazardous waste (they are often used as skips). There is a risk of explosion or injury; they can leak dangerous fluids, which can catch fire or run into the water stream; and they are often burnt out, which can endanger lives, property and the environment.
How do I report an abandoned vehicle?
Please complete a 'Report an Abandoned Vehicle' form online. You will be asked to answer a number of screening questions to validate your submission.
Will I receive an update on the status of my report?
No. Once you have reported an abandoned vehicle through our reporting page, the vehicle will then be investigated. We are unable to provide updates on the status or give timescales of any live abandoned vehicle investigations.
If I report an abandoned vehicle, will it be removed?
Not necessarily. There are varying factors to be considered when evaluating any abandoned vehicle report. Ultimately, the Council's Neighbourhood Services Authorised Officers have the freedom of discretion when deciding as to whether a vehicle has been abandoned.
If a vehicle is deemed abandoned, how long will the council take to remove the vehicle?
Under the Council’s Waste & Recycling Service Standards & Policies, the council has up to 14 days to remove the vehicle once deemed abandoned.
How long does it take to deem a vehicles abandoned?
There is no set timescale prescribed by law or in the council’s policies and procedures. Abandoned vehicle investigations will be progressed as quickly as reasonably practicable subject to the individual circumstances of each case. Ultimately, the Council's Neighbourhood Services Authorised Officers have the freedom of discretion when making a decision as to whether a vehicle has been abandoned.
Which council services deals with abandoned vehicles?
Authorised officers from Dundee City Council’s Waste Management service deal with all abandoned vehicle matters.
What is the legal definition of a vehicle?
(Section 2 – Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978)
Vehicle: 'a mechanically propelled vehicle… for use on the roads… and includes any trailer intended or adapted for use as an attachment to such a vehicle, any chassis or body, with or without wheels, appearing to have formed part of such a vehicle or trailer.' This means anything that has belonged, or been attached to something that has driven on a road (even the mechanical parts such as the engine, wheels and tyres).
i. whether or not it is in fit state for use on roads;
ii. and includes any chassis or body with or without wheels appearing to have formed part of such a vehicle
any load carried by and anything attached to such a vehicle (Section 99(5) The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984)
What is the difference between a nuisance vehicle and an abandoned vehicle?
Abandoned vehicles often get confused with nuisance vehicles. An abandoned vehicle is always a nuisance, but a nuisance vehicle is not always abandoned. A nuisance vehicle could be any of the following:
- Poorly parked;
- Causing an obstruction;
- Involved in a local parking dispute;
- Broken down;
The Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 states that a vehicle is abandoned only ‘where it appears to a local authority that a motor vehicle in their area is abandoned without lawful authority …’ As a result, a vehicle is deemed abandoned only when the authorised officer at the local authority decides that it is abandoned.
I received a 7 day notice letter from the council claiming my vehicle is abandoned. What should I do?
You are required to remove the vehicle from its current location within 7 days from the date of the letter otherwise the council intends to dispose of the vehicle in a manner it thinks fit.
Does the council operate a vehicle impound storage facility?
No. Vehicles deemed abandoned are removed by a licenced contractor for disposal at an authorised treatment facility (ATF).
My vehicle has gone missing. Do I contact the council to check if it was removed as abandoned?
In the first instance, please immediately report the matter to Police Scotland by phone on 101. Police Scotland will then contact the council to check if a vehicle reported missing has been removed by the council as an abandoned vehicle. Please ensure you have on-hand the vehicle registration mark, make, model, colour and address where the vehicle was last parked to assist with enquiries.
Is it unlawful to abandon a vehicle?
Yes. Where a vehicle has been removed under section 3 (1) of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978, Dundee City Council shall be entitled to recover from any responsible person: charges in respect of the removal (£150); and disposal charges incurred (£150).
A vehicle has been stickered with a seven (7) day abandoned vehicle notice. What happens next?
The sticker is affixed where an authorised officer of the council believes that this vehicle has been abandoned without lawful authority and is of the opinion that it is in such a condition that it ought to be destroyed. The notice is confirmation that the vehicle is under active investigation pending further enquiries, and is notice to the owner/keeper that the vehicle must be removed within 7 days from the date of the sticker otherwise the council intends to dispose of the vehicle in a manner it thinks fit.
A vehicle has been parked in the same location for many months. Does that mean it's abandoned?
No. A vehicle that is parked in a location for a considerable period of time might not be abandoned, and whilst this may be a factor when investigating the vehicle, abandonment will not be determined on this factor alone.
A vehicle has been parked and is causing obstruction to my property. What should I do?
Typically, we will not consider vehicles to meet the criteria of abandonment if the following apply:
- Nuisance Vehicles (often confused with abandoned vehicles);
- Sold on the street as part of a business;
- Involved in local parking dispute;
- Poorly parked/ obstruction;
- Broken down
Vehicles causing a traffic management issue such as a danger, obstruction or nuisance should be reported to Police Scotland by phone on 101. Alternatively, you can report any local parking or parking enforcement concerns to the council’s parking team online via Contact Us.
I noticed a burnt-out car in my local neighbourhood. What should I do?
You should report the vehicle to Police Scotland in the first instance by phoning 101. The police will notify the council once they have completed their enquiries in most cases, and the council will then arrange uplift and disposal.