Abandoned or unwanted vehicles

Report an abandoned vehicle

Abandoning a vehicle is a criminal offence which carries a maximum fine of £2,500 or three months' imprisonment.

A vehicle can be considered to be 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 body work or broken windows
  • It doesn’t have a valid MOT or road tax

Before you report an abandoned vehicle please check whether it has an MOT and tax.

If the vehicle is taxed, has a valid MOT and is not damaged we may not be able to investigate it as an abandoned vehicle.

If the vehicle is untaxed and in reasonable condition, please report it to the DVLA. The DVLA is the only authority with the powers to remove untaxed vehicles from the public highway.

If your concern relates to nuisance parking more information can be found here.

We strongly recommend you use the photo upload function in the form as this helps us to identify the vehicle location if you do not have all the information required.

Report an abandoned vehicle 

A vehicle removed due to being abandoned will, depending on its value, either be disposed of or stored. 

A Notice will either be sent to the registered keeper and/or attached to the vehicle stating the Notice period.

If a vehicle is stored it will be held for 7 days. If it is not claimed within that time it will be disposed of.

Reclaim an abandoned vehicle

If you believe your vehicle has been removed by the Council as an abandoned vehicle, we will write to inform you that your vehicle has been impounded. You then have seven days to recover it. 

Call 01234 718060 or email communityregulation@bedford.gov.uk as soon as possible and make sure you have full details of the vehicle. We will then meet with you to confirm ownership.

There will be a cost to you to recover your vehicle and you will need to provide the following:

  • Registration document (V5 log book) showing you are the registered keeper. If you are not the registered keeper of the vehicle or have purchased it recently, you may need to contact a solicitor and obtain a sworn affidavit before you can recover the vehicle.
  • A valid form of identification ie a passport, driving licence, rent book or bank statement

Unwanted vehicles

The Council can remove and dispose of your unwanted vehicles (including caravans). We charge for this service and you must be able to provide proof of ownership for the vehicle being removed.

Please email CommunityRegulation@bedford.gov.uk for more information.