Bedford Borough Council fines owner who abandoned vehicle

A yellow van abandoned on a street in Bedford Borough

The latest success in the Council’s campaign against environmental crime involved a man who abandoned his van in De Parys Avenue, Bedford, in February. A yellow Vauxhall van was reported to the Council as being abandoned, untaxed and with an MOT that had expired.

The Council's Environmental Crime Team attended the scene and issued a seven-day removal notice. This notice was placed on the vehicle and sent to the registered owner by post. There was no response to the notice, so the team made the decision to remove the van. The van was then held for seven days but was still not claimed and was disposed of and a Fixed Penalty Notice was issued.

The owner chose to pay the Fixed Penalty Notice rather than be prosecuted in court. The Fixed Penalty Notice for abandoning a vehicle is £200, this can be reduced to £120 with an early payment discount.

A Bedford Borough Council spokesperson said, “Abandoned vehicles are not only an environmental hazard but are expensive to remove, look unsightly, take up valuable parking spaces and can attract anti-social behaviour.

“When a vehicle is dumped, the Council must divert vital resources from other areas to deal with it. We will investigate all reports of abandoned vehicles and will take action against all owners who dump them."

They added, “Untaxed vehicles need to be stored off the highway, on private land and the Driver and Licensing Agency (DVLA) needs to be told via a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). Such vehicles should be kept on the owner’s private property, or on someone else’s who has given permission.”

Unwanted vehicles can be recycled at scrapyards, which are sometimes called ‘authorised treatment facilities’. These can be found here, some may offer a payment for your vehicle.

The Council can remove and dispose of your unwanted vehicles (including caravans). There is a charge for this service and proof of ownership for the vehicle must be shown before it is removed. Email for more information.

A vehicle can be considered abandoned if;

  • It has not been moved for at least two weeks
  • It is in poor condition, such as having flat tyres, or litter has built up under the vehicle
  • There is evidence of damage, such as poor bodywork or broken windows
  • It doesn’t have a valid MOT or road tax, you can check this at

Abandoned vehicles in Bedford Borough can be reported at; If there is an emergency, such as spilt petrol or live electrical wires call the Police on 101.

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