More Than 20,000 Vehicles Are Abandoned Every Year In The UK

More Than 20,000 Vehicles Are Abandoned Every Year In The UK

More than 21,000 vehicles were abandoned in the UK last year according to data released by local councils.

Thousands of vehicles are abandoned in the UK every year, with only those that are detected and disposed of being registered, which means the actual figure could be much higher.

Figures are calculated by local authorities and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) also revealed that 11,075 vehicles were abandoned on public land in England in 2011 before being disposed of.

A wide range of vehicles were abandoned with the most common being Ford Transit Vans, one of the most popular vehicles in the UK.

Why Are So Many Vehicles Abandoned?

A vehicle is classed as abandoned for many reasons, including:

  • If there is no registered owner
  • If it’s untaxed
  • If it has been stationary for more than four weeks
  • If it is ‘significantly’ damaged
  • If it is missing a registration plate
  • If it’s unroadworthy 

Vehicles that are no longer roadworthy or no longer required should be registered as off the road with the relevant authorities and disposed of properly.

You can register vehicles that are off the road by completing a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) to avoid having to tax them as long as you don’t drive on public roads.

But the reality is that with millions of new vehicles being registered every year in the UK, there are thousands of vehicles every year that are no longer required or no longer in use.

The Safety Risk For Drivers And Fleets

Vehicles that are abandoned usually pose a safety risk to drivers.

That’s because they’re often not roadworthy and they are routinely abandoned in public spaces where they could block gates, roads, and laybys.

There could also be serious mechanical faults that could cause fires or serious failures that put other road users and members of the public at risk.

The government has urged anyone who notices what they believe to be an abandoned vehicle, whether it’s near your home or anywhere else, to report it to the local authorities.

You can do so by heading to and reporting the vehicle by entering the location of the vehicle and any details you have on it so that the council can arrange for it to be removed and disposed of safely and properly.

Because Ford Transit Vans are the most commonly abandoned vehicles, some fleet owners may have disposed of vehicles after they were no longer roadworthy, so it’s a reminder that there are proper ways in which to register a vehicle as off-the-road and dispose of it safely.

There are legal and safety issues around abandoned vehicles for fleet owners, drivers, and members of the public, which is why the government has stressed the importance of following the proper procedure if your vehicle is no longer roadworthy.

Has an abandoned vehicle ever affected you or your fleet? Let us know in the comments below.