The removal of abandoned vehicles cost local councils over half a million pounds in 2017/18


In 2017/18, local councils in England and Wales removed on average around 34 abandoned cars every day at a cost to them of over half a million pounds.

According to new data, the number of abandoned vehicles in England and Wales has risen by 228% in just five years.

Local councils removed 12,442 abandoned cars in 2017/18 – more than double the number removed from the side of the road in the 2013/14 financial year.

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The number of abandoned cars in England and Wales have doubled in just five years. © Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Out of the 12,442 abandoned cars removed during 2017/18, a total of 8,886 had to be destroyed which equated to a cost of £527,380.

During the same period, councils in England and Wales fined drivers to the total of £55,071 for the abandonment of their cars.

This might go some way in covering the removal costs, however the biggest part of the bills are picked up by local taxpayers. Last year, councils removed on average around 34 cars every day – that’s roughly one or more every hour. obtained the data following a Freedom of Information request and found that councils in England and Wales received 148,777 abandoned car reports in 2017/18.

The region with the highest number of reported abandoned vehicles was in the South East, with councils receiving 35,298 reports and having to conduct 3,055 removals at a cost of £102,827.

However, the North East region saw the largest increase in the number of abandoned cars during 2017/18, jumping 531% to 202 in just five years.

The one local council who had to deal with the most abandoned vehicles during this period was Luton, who removed 363 cars from wherever they’d been left.

The increase in abandoned vehicles has been blamed by Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at, on the increased costs associated with running a car, such as higher insurance prices and more expensive fuel costs.


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