Abandoned and untaxed vehicles

Any parked car causing a traffic hazard or an illegally parked car which is in an unsafe condition, is a matter for Surrey Police, not the Council. Some cars reported as abandoned are not in fact abandoned. They are being used untaxed or hold a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). Vehicles that are declared SORN should be kept on private property only and not on the public highway. Untaxed Vehicles should be reported to the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), whereas abandoned vehicles should be reported to us for further investigation.

Untaxed vehicles

The DVLA is responsible for untaxed vehicles. If you are aware of a vehicle where the following circumstances apply, the vehicle should be reported directly to the DVLA.

  • when there is no valid car tax recorded against the vehicle and
  • vehicle is being stored on the highway

You can use the DVLA Vehicle Enquiry Service to find out what information is held on its database about a vehicle. In order to make an enquiry, you will need the vehicle registration mark (number plate), and the vehicle's make.

Abandoned vehicles

Most vehicles are simply untaxed, rather than abandoned. However, many people are rightly concerned by the effect of abandoned cars on their street environment; the attraction of vandals, increased risk of other crime, risk of fire, and the general nuisance where parking is in short supply locally. DVLA information suggests that many abandoned cars have been operated unregistered, untaxed and are probably uninsured without a valid MOT Certificate.

Any parked car causing a traffic hazard or an illegally parked car which is an unsafe condition, is a matter for Surrey Police, not the Council.

We receive a significant number of reports of abandoned vehicles from members of the public. All cars reported to us are checked against DVLA records. These sometimes indicate that a car which looks abandoned is in fact registered and taxed. We can investigate and take action on abandoned vehicles.

Examples include vehicles that:

(a) Untaxed or taxed

(b) No current vehicle keeper on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) record

(c) Stationary for a significant amount of time

(d) Significantly damaged, run down or unroadworthy

(e) Burned out

(f) Lacking one or more of its number plates

(g) Containing waste

(Category (d) could include vehicles with flat tyres, wheels removed or broken windows).

This also includes vehicles that are on privately owned land where the land is open and accessible to the public.