What is an abandoned vehicle?

We can remove abandoned vehicles from the highway and public spaces. Before reporting a suspected abandoned vehicle, please check to see if you think the vehicle is really abandoned.

When making your report, you must state the reason why you think this vehicle should be considered as being abandoned. If you do not provide this information, we cannot investigate the matter further.

A vehicle may be abandoned if one or more of the following applies:

  • It has been stationary and has not moved for a long time (a month or more, rather than just a few weeks) and it is not being used.
  • It is burnt out, significantly damaged, in a poor condition, rusty or mouldy, has flat tyres or removed wheels.
  • It is untaxed – you can check the vehicle's tax status on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) website. Sandwell Council does not have powers to remove a vehicle from the highway if it does not have a valid MOT certificate.
  • It has number plate(s) missing.

Report a suspected abandoned vehicle

Fees and charges

Abandoning a vehicle is a criminal offence, carrying a maximum penalty of a fine of £2,500 or three months imprisonment, or both.
Owners of abandoned vehicles are also liable for the following costs: -

  • £200 fixed penalty notice for abandoning their vehicle (issued by and payable to the Council)
  • £200 vehicle release fee (issued by and payable to Penham Excel Ltd)
  • £21 per day storage to a maximum of 21 days (issued by and payable to Penham Excel Ltd)

Please note: Vehicles that are parked inconveniently are not classed as abandoned vehicles unless they meet the criteria above. If a vehicle is causing an obstruction, please report it to West Midlands Police or by calling 101.

Untaxed vehicles

Vehicles without valid road tax that are being kept on the highway or public space, but not abandoned.

It is an offence to use or keep on a public highway (this includes council-owned car parks) a motor vehicle (registered in the UK) without a valid current vehicle licence (Road Tax).

Report an untaxed vehicle to Penham Excel (external site)