Abandoned Vehicles - Reporting

Brunt out car on road

Report Abandoned Vehicles Online 

What is an abandoned vehicle?

An abandoned vehicle is a vehicle that has been left at a location and a vehicle which the owner no longer wants.  This does not mean that the vehicle has been left legally or that the registered keeper (the person named on the registration document) can deny any legal responsibility for it.

However, vehicles can be left at various locations for a variety of reasons without being abandoned. Residents may leave vehicles while they are out of the area or they may be unable to return to their vehicles because of illness. They may also park up vehicles that are awaiting repair or have been involved in an accident.

Abandoned vehicles are generally in a poor condition although this is not always the case.

Untaxed Vehicles

There is often confusion regarding vehicles that are not taxed.  Although it is an offence to use a vehicle on the highway without tax, untaxed vehicles are not necessarily abandoned.  Some people choose to ignore the law and drive vehicles without valid tax but have certainly not abandoned them.

The last registered keeper of a vehicle has the responsibility to ensure that the vehicle has valid tax.  If a vehicle is sold or transferred it is the responsibility of the registered keeper to ensure that the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) is informed so that the records can be updated.

Although the Police investigate and report untaxed vehicles, any prosecutions are carried out by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).

To report an untaxed vehicle please contact the DVLA by ...

Sending an email to unlicensed.use@dvla.gsi.gov.uk

Writing a letter to: 

DVLA local office
Archway House
77 Ty Glas Avenue
CF14 5DX

Telephoning 0800 325 202 (free phone hotline)

For more information please visit the DVLA website at www.dvla.gov.uk

What can be done about abandoned vehicles?

We will remove any vehicle within Rhondda Cynon Taf if we believe that it has been abandoned “without lawful authority”.  We not only deal with vehicles left on a highway, but also vehicles left on “any land in the open air”.

Vehicles in a poor condition

If we believe that a vehicle is in such a poor condition that it should be destroyed we have to place a legal notice on the vehicle before we can remove it.  This notice advises any owner that if the vehicle is not removed from its current location within 24 hours we will remove it and it will be scrapped.  In this situation we are under no obligation to try to find an owner for the vehicle.

Vehicles in a reasonable condition

If a vehicle is in a reasonable condition we have to take certain steps to try to find an owner.  If an owner can be found this person must be given a reasonable amount of time to respond to a notice served on them.  If a vehicle is not displaying a valid tax disc, we always contact DVLA and advise them of this.

Vehicles on private land

We have powers to enter private land to inspect vehicles and to serve notices.  We can also remove vehicles from private land if there is no response to our notices.  Occupiers of land have 15 days to respond, in writing, to any notices we serve on them.

Vehicles in inaccessible locations

If vehicles are abandoned in dangerous or inaccessible locations we can decide that it is too dangerous or expensive to remove them.  However, we now work in partnership with the Army to tackle this problem. The Army recover vehicles from difficult locations as a training exercise for their tank recovery section.

Vehicles that are taxed

If a vehicle is displaying a current tax disc it cannot be destroyed until the disc has expired.

Powers of the Police to deal with vehicles

The Police also have powers to move and remove vehicles or to require an owner or person in control of a vehicle to move it.  These powers extend to vehicles that have broken down, have been left or have been abandoned ‘without lawful authority’. 

Vehicles not abandoned but causing a nuisance

Vehicles that are not abandoned but are creating a problem should be reported to the police.

Vehicles causing an obstruction

Vehicles that are blocking access or obstructing the highway should be reported to the police.

How can I report an abandoned vehicle?

To report a vehicle that may be abandoned please use the online form below or go to our contact details at the end of this page.

How can I surrender an unwanted vehicle?

If you contact us we will arrange to collect a vehicle you no longer want.  However, we will ask you to prove that you are the legal owner of the vehicle or have the owner’s permission to dispose of the vehicle.

We make a charge of £40 to cover the removal and disposal of each vehicle you wish to surrender.

Does the Council organise vehicle amnesties?

We often hold vehicle amnesties and during these amnesty periods owners can bring vehicles to us and we will accept them free of charge.  Amnesties normally cover a weekend period and we provide three locations in Rhondda Cynon Taf where you can take vehicles.

Please note that if you drive a vehicle to an amnesty disposal point it is your responsibility to ensure that it can be legally driven on the highway.

We will advise you in the local press of periods of amnesty and the locations to take vehicles, we will also provide details on this web page.

What is Operation Cubit?


Operation Cubit is a partnership scheme operated by the Council, the DVLA, the Police and the Fire Service.  Under this scheme the partner organisations pool their resources to tackle a range of vehicle problems.  Abandoned, burnt out and untaxed vehicles can all be dealt with under this joint initiative. Depending on the circumstances, vehicles may be clamped on site or removed.

We are not able to run a continuous Operation Cubit scheme nor can we cover the whole of the County Borough each time the scheme is operated.  Each year we carry out several month-long initiatives with each scheme tackling a different area of Rhondda Cynon Taf.

What should I do if I find a notice on my vehicle?

Although we frequently post notices on vehicles not all notices come from us. The Police also post notices on vehicles, particularly if a vehicle is on a highway and has no current tax disc.

If you believe that we have placed a notice on your vehicle you can contact us by using our contact details at the end of this page.

Please note

  • If we place a 24 hour notice on a vehicle we will remove it after 24 hours if there is no response from its owner or keeper.
  • If a vehicle has been left on land and we serve a notice on the occupier of that land, a response must be made in writing. In this case the occupier has 15 days to respond.  If there is no written response to our notice we will enter the land and remove the vehicle.

What should I do if my vehicle has been removed?

We have powers to remove vehicles if we believe that they have been abandoned.  If your vehicle has been removed we may have moved it, particularly if it has been left unused or if it is in a poor condition.  We also remove vehicles that have been set on fire and are burnt out.  Other agencies such as the Police, Fire Service or DVLA also remove vehicles.

We have a comprehensive database of vehicles that have been reported to us and we can check quickly and easily to see if we have inspected or removed any vehicle.

To check if we have removed your vehicle you can contact us by using our contact details at the end of this page.

Where can I find facts and figures about abandoned vehicles?

The table shows the number of vehicles removed by us since 1999 nicluding the average number of days taken to remove these vehicles.

Vehicles removed and destroyed
YearNumber of
Vehicles Removed
Average No
Days to Remove   
2005/2006  551  7
2006/2007  260  9
2007/2008  107 8
2008/2009 56 7
2009/2010 31 8

There are detailed legal procedures to follow when attempting to remove vehicles.  All the vehicles reported to us were causing some form of problem, but many could not be removed under the abandoned vehicle legislation.  Where appropriate, details of vehicles that we are not able to deal with are passed on to the Police or the DVLA. 


Contact Us

If you need to ...

  • Report an abandoned vehicle
  • Respond to a notice place on your vehicle
  • Find out if we have removed your vehicle
  • Find more information about abandoned vehicles

contact us direct on....

The Service Director for Streetcare
Rhondda Cynon Taf Streetcare Services
Ty Glantaf
Unit B23, Treforest Industrial Estate
CF37 5TT

Tel: 01443 425001
Fax: 01443 844310
Email: Customer.Services@rhondda-cynon-taf.gov.uk