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Abandoned Vehicles

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department has taken to tackle the problems of abandoned cars since 2002. (234913)

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 amended the Refuse Disposal Amenity Act 1978 and Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 in relation to the offence, removal and disposal of abandoned vehicles.

A local authority no longer has to affix a 24-hour notice of removal of an abandoned vehicle it considers is only fit for destruction. It is now possible to remove an abandoned vehicle immediately from any road, including roads on private housing estates. Abandoned vehicles that are only fit for destruction or do not display a licence or number plate can be destroyed immediately.

In all other cases, the local authority will try to find the owner; if they fail, or the owner does not collect the vehicle within seven days of being contacted, the vehicle can be disposed of without the need to wait for the license to expire. Local authorities can recoup the value of the license from the DVLA. Local authorities can also impose fixed penalties of £200, in lieu of prosecution, if the owner of an abandoned vehicle can be identified.