Abandoned Vehicles

Reporting criteria

If the vehicle:

  • appears to be lost or stolen
  • is causing an obstruction
  • is parked in a dangerous position/condition
  • is left at the roadside following a road traffic accident

You should report it to the Police via 101 or online at Report | Essex Police

If none of these apply, you can report the vehicle to us to investigate, but only if it:

  • has no MOT or Tax
  • has been discarded by the owner/user and no one has returned to it
  • has been in place for more than 7 days
  • has been damaged, i.e. has flat tyres


Before making a report

Make sure you have the following information ready:

  • the location
  • the Vehicle Registration Number
  • the colour, make, and model
  • how many days the vehicle has been in place
  • details of any damage

Report an abandoned vehicle


Once we receive your report, we will begin an investigation and remove the vehicle if it is found to be abandoned. This may take up to 15 days, depending on the location of the vehicle.


How the Council investigates

After a vehicle has been deemed abandoned, a notice will be affixed to the vehicle. This will either be a 24-hour, 7 day or 15-day notice, based on the location and condition of the vehicle.

If after the notice period has expired, and the Council deem the vehicle abandoned, we will arrange for our contractor to remove the vehicle.

We have a duty to remove any vehicle that has been determined to be abandoned. The primary legislation under which we act is The Road Traffic Regulation Act and the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978.

This can be from the highway or land to which the public have access. We can remove abandoned vehicles from the highway or land which public have access to, but we can only investigate vehicles abandoned on private land if they are reported by the landowner and they provide proof of land ownership.