Abandoning a vehicle is a crime, for which we can issue a fixed penalty notice of up to £200. The maximum penalty on conviction is a fine of up to £2,500, imprisonment, or both.
If you think a vehicle has been abandoned, you can ask us to investigate.
We’ll undertake an investigation into whether we consider a vehicle to be abandoned, if it has been parked without moving for four weeks, or is dangerously damaged. An abandoned vehicle might also:
- have flat tyres
- have broken windows or windscreen
- be missing one or both number plates
- have wires hanging from the dashboard
- be rusty or mouldy
- be untaxed or have no MOT – you can check if a vehicle is taxed and has an MOT on the government website
- be registered as off the road (SORN) but left on the road
If the vehicle has not moved for more than four weeks, and any of these are true about the vehicle you have seen, please report it to us.
We’ll need to know the vehicle’s location, make, model, colour and registration number. We’ll also ask why you think it has been abandoned.
We can only investigate vehicles inside the Cambridge city boundary – you should report abandoned vehicles outside Cambridge to South Cambridgeshire District Council.
We will not investigate vehicles that:
- have not moved for less than four weeks
- are badly parked
- causing an obstruction
- part of a neighbourhood dispute
As part of our investigation we’ll attach a notice to the vehicle and contact the last registered keeper.
Please note that a vehicle is only considered to be abandoned if it's declared by an authorised officer.
Following expiry of the notice, if we think the vehicle has been abandoned we will remove it and store it for 21 days. If it is still not claimed after that, it will be recycled.
In cases where the vehicle is claimed, or is found not to be abandoned, we will not take any action.