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Abandoned vehicles

Drivers and owners who abandon their vehicles are being warned they could be faced with a £200 on the spot fine from Monday 3 June 2019.

West Lancashire Borough Council has a duty to remove abandoned vehicles and usually responds to around 300 complaints about such vehicles each year.

Although not all are actually abandoned, when staff find a genuine abandoned vehicle they must remove it and this incurs a cost to the Council.

The authority is trying to recover some of this cost and from Monday 3 June 2019   will be able to issue a fixed penalty notice of £200 to anyone who abandons a vehicle. If owners don’t pay the fine they may face further legal action and end up paying a much larger bill.

Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Health and Community Safety, said “We recognise that people who abandon their vehicles are acting very irresponsibly. These vehicles can be dangerous and provide a real hazard for residents. Responsibility needs to be taken to dispose of unwanted vehicles correctly and where this doesn’t happen fixed penalty notices will be issued.”

The Council will consider a vehicle is abandoned if at least one of the following applies:

  • It has no keeper on DVLA’s database and is untaxed – (this can be checked via gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax)
  • The vehicle is stationary for a significant amount of time
  • It is significantly damaged, run down or un-roadworthy – for example, has flat tyres, missing wheels or broken windows
  • Has been burned out
  • A number plate is missing

The Council can legally enter land (at a reasonable time) to investigate and remove abandoned vehicles.

If a vehicle is only fit to be destroyed or has no number plates/tax disc it can be disposed of immediately. Otherwise the Council will attempt to find the owner of the vehicle and give them seven days to remove it or claim it. If no owner can be found or the vehicle is not moved/claimed in this time, it will be disposed of by the Council.

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