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Abandoned and untaxed vehicles

Can you remove untaxed vehicles?

No.  It is now Humberside Police who remove untaxed vehicles.  If the vehicle is on the public highway, which includes the road, grass verge and footpath, generally they can remove it as long as it is more than 2 months and 1 day out of tax or subject to a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). The other proviso is that it is accessible to their recovery operator. There are, however, some instances when they cannot remove an untaxed vehicle from the public highway, one such example being if the keeper is disabled.

If the vehicle is in a residential car park, on a private driveway or any other type of private land it cannot be removed.

To report an untaxed vehicle ring 101, Humberside Police's non-emergency number,  providing details of the vehicle and location.

If you know the vehicle registration number and make you can check the licence renewal date (date of liability) and whether it is SORN (vehicle status) yourself online by using the vehicle enquiry service on the DVLA’s vehicle online services section of the DirectGov website:

DirectGov - DVLA (external website)

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How can I arrange for an abandoned vehicle removal? 

Please report an abandoned vehicle online (opens in new window), providing full details of the vehicle and location. We aim to investigate all reports received within 24 hours (excluding weekends / bank holidays). If our investigations lead us to conclude the vehicle is abandoned we aim to have it removed within 48 hours of the original report (excluding weekends and bank holidays).

We have a duty under the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 to remove vehicles in the open air which appear to be abandoned.  The Act makes it a criminal offence for someone to abandon a vehicle and in cases where there is sufficient evidence we will issue a fixed penalty notice for £200. If the fixed penalty is not paid, legal proceedings will be initiated which carries a penalty upon conviction of a fine of up to £2,500 or 3 months imprisonment or both. We can also claim back the cost of removing and disposing of the vehicle.

The legislation website contains full details of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 relating to abandoned vehicles:

Legislation - Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978  (external website)

It also contains full details of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 relating to the issuing of fixed penalty notices for the offence of abandoning a vehicles:

Legislation - Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (external website)

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Has the council removed my vehicle? 

We may have removed your vehicle if we had reason to believe it to be abandoned. Should you wish to check if we have removed your vehicle you can do so by telephoning us on (01482) 395299 or (01482) 395298.

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How do I reclaim a vehicle removed by the council? 

Vehicles are stored for a limited time at Sellers 24 Hr Recovery at The Elms Workshop, New Road, Brandesburton, Driffield, East Riding of Yorkshire, YO25 8RX. To get the vehicle back you will need to make an appointment with Sellers by calling them on (01964) 543458. When you collect the vehicle you will have to provide proof of ownership, identification and address. You will also have to pay release and storage fees as follows:

Abandoned vehicle release charges (pdf 103kb opens in  new window)


We have a duty under the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 to remove vehicles which appear to be abandoned. Full details of these regulations can be found on the legislation website:  

Legislation - Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 (external website)

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How do I check a vehicle's taxation status?

If you know the vehicle registration number and make you can check the licence renewal date (date of liability) and whether it is SORN (vehicle status) yourself online by using the vehicle enquiry service on the DVLA’s vehicle online services section of the DirectGov website:

DirectGov - DVLA (external website)

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How do I dispose of an unwanted vehicle? 

You need to dispose of your vehicle via an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) as they are authorised by the Environment Agency to accept waste motor vehicles and they comply with the requirements of the End of Life Vehicle (ELV) and Environmental Permitting (EP) regulations. Some ATF’s will collect the vehicle for you if you are unable to take it to them and they may even give you some money for it. They will issue you with a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) which is a requirement of the ELV’s regulations. 

The GOV.UK website has a public register list of ATF’s. Those for the East Riding area are listed under the North East tab of the ELV ATF's public register excel spreadsheet:

GOV.UK - Scrap cars and written-off vehicles (external website)


Car recycling

Cartakeback.com is the official scrap car recycling partner for a wide range of car manufacturers. Their website provides the list of the manufacturers and it is possible to get an instant quote online for both collection and delivery:

Car Take Back (external website)

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Is it illegal to abandon a vehicle?

It is an offence under the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 for someone to abandon a vehicle. In cases where there is sufficient evidence someone has abandoned a vehicle we will issue a fixed penalty notice for £200. If the fixed penalty is not paid, legal proceedings will be initiated which carries a penalty upon conviction of a fine of up to £2,500 or 3 months imprisonment or both. We can also claim back the cost of removing and disposing of the vehicle.

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