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Abandoned and nuisance vehicles

Abandoned burnt out vehicle

Abandoned Vehicles

Colchester Borough Council operates a service to investigate alleged abandoned vehicles and, if appropriate, to arrange for their removal and disposal. The council has a duty to remove abandoned vehicles on the public highway. On other land - such as car parks or private property - an officer will respond to any reports, investigate and take appropriate action, which may include contacting the land owner. Please note that vehicles abandoned on the A12 are not investigated by our Zone Teams but by Highway Agency.

From 1 September 2008 Colchester Borough Council will no longer issue 24 hour notices in relation to an abandoned vehicle.  Abandoned vehicles that, in the opinion of the Council, are fit only for destruction may be subject to immediate removal.

   If you wish to report an abandoned vehicle it is useful to note down location, registration, make and colour as the more information provided, the better.

  • To report an abandoned vehicle please use our online form or email us at Or please call us on 01206 282700.
  • To report an abandoned vehicle on the A12, please contact Highways Agency on 0845 603 7631

Colchester Borough Council do not remove vehicles purely on the basis of not displaying a valid tax disc. This is the responsibility of the DVLA.

Vehicles which are displaying a current tax disc and/or a Colchester Borough Council parking permit cannot be regarded as abandoned.

We cannot deal with a vehicle just because it does not display a current licence. This responsibility lies with the DVLA who are the enforcing agency. You can visit the DVLA website or contact their local office at: 0870 850 0007

However, we will still investigate if they are in a very poor or dangerous condition, such as having severe accident damage, burnt out or badly vandalised.

If no-one responsible for the vehicle can be found and its condition suggests that it has been abandoned - i.e. in a very poor condition, seriously damaged or vandalised - then the council will arrange for its removal.

Claiming a vehicle

If you have received a notice of removal. Please use our online form to claim your vehicle or contact us at or on 01206 282700. It is important that you call us as soon as possible, as failure to comply with the notice will result in the vehicle's removal.

If your vehicle has reached the end of its life please do not abandon it. There are several schemes available such as who will, in most cases take your vehicle free of charge.

 Cars for Sale on the highway

Colchester Borough Council will investigate cars for sale on the highway and have had four successful prosecutions since the legislation came into place. The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 sets out the criteria of the offence. If you wish to report vehicles for sale on the highway, please contact us on or call 01206 282700.