Hounslow Council

Abandoned vehicles - frequently asked questions

What happens once I’ve reported an abandoned vehicle?

When a notice is placed on a vehicle, we inspect the vehicle and take photographs. A notice may be placed on the vehicle - normally within 24 hours - advising the owner to contact us.

The vehicle is then checked again; if it is still on site and has not been claimed, we will arrange removal and destruction through the council’s contractor.

If the vehicle is in a bad condition (ie, wheels missing or broken windows) a police check will be carried out. If after 24 hours of the police check no interest is shown in the vehicle, we will arrange removal and destruction.

If a vehicle is taxed or in a very good condition and is of some substantial value, it is unlikely to be abandoned. If the vehicle has not moved for a period of time we will monitor it by checking with the police and DVLA to see if it is stolen.

If all efforts to establish contact with the owner have failed and the vehicle is still taxed, the vehicle could be removed and stored in the pound of the council’s contractor and any costs incurred will be recovered from the owner.

The vehicle will be destroyed if the owner does not make any contact within approximately seven days.

How long does it take to deal with abandoned vehicles?

We aim to visit a vehicle reported as abandoned within 24 hours of the report. We aim to remove 90% of all confirmed vehicles reported abandoned within three working days.

A notice has been displayed on a vehicle but it has not been removed, why?

  • The vehicle could be waiting for collection by our contractor for disposal

  • The vehicle is taxed

  • The vehicle has been claimed

  • The vehicle has been found to be stolen and is waiting for collection by the interested party.

  • We are making enquiries into tracing the owner

What happens when a taxed vehicle is claimed?

If a taxed vehicle is claimed but is considered to be a public nuisance, we may ask the owner to remove it, or apply for a court order.

What happens when an untaxed vehicle is claimed?

If an untaxed vehicle is claimed, we will advise the owner that if the vehicle is to remain on the road, it requires a current vehicle excise licence.

Who do I contact if there is an abandoned vehicle on housing land?

Contact Hounslow Homes, the organisation that manages the council's housing: 0800 085 6575.

What about untaxed foreign registered vehicles?

Due to limited powers to deal with foreign registered vehicles (including Ireland), we can only act if the vehicle is classed as abandoned.