Abandoned vehicles

On average there are 9,600 vehicles reported each year in Cambridgeshire, 4100 of which are removed for destruction. These cost Cambridgeshire and Peterborough approximately £300,000 annually.

It is illegal to abandon a vehicle under the Refuse (Disposal) Amenity Act 1978, and if convicted, can cost you up to £2,500 or three months in prison. Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, the council will be able to give fixed penalty notices of £200 to the last registered keeper of a vehicle if they consider that the vehicle has been left abandoned. If this fee is not paid, the council will be able to prosecute the last registered keeper.

Our leaflet about abandoned vehicles (PDF) gives more detailed information about this increasing problem and what to do if you want to make a report.

Report an abandoned vehicle

Report it to environmental services, via the online form below, or by phoning 01353 665555 confirming the details below:

  • Vehicle make, model and colour
  • Vehicle registration number (also visible on the tax disc)
  • Condition of the vehicle (detailing any vandalism)
  • Expiry date of the tax disc, if there is one
  • Location of the vehicle
  • How long the vehicle has been abandoned

Never, enter or even touch an abandoned vehicle - it may have been used in a crime and need to be investigated by the police. They also pose a health and safety risk, may contain hazardous waste and can often pose a fire risk. Materials which are being used to make brake seals, fuel pipes etc. do not burn which vehicles are set light to, but decompose. One of the products of decomposition is Hydrofluoric Acid, which is corrosive, attacking calcium in the bones.

Free take back of old vehicles

Under the End Of Life Vehicle Directive, car manufacturers have set up facilities to scrap complete old cars when they reach the end of their life. You can now deliver your unwanted vehicle to certain sites or arrange for it to be picked up for a nominal fee and the site to take your car to depends on the make of your vehicle.

Visit the Car Take Back website (external link) to find your nearest take back point.

You can also contact DMR Autoparts (external link) at the moment who have advised us that they may provide free collection and take back for owners of vehicles. This is not a recommendation by the council and other auto-dismantlers are available.

Untaxed vehicles

You can report untaxed vehicles to the DVLA (external link)