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Wiltshire residents handed hefty penalties for abandoning their cars

Wiltshire Council has issued two fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for abandoned vehicles and has successfully prosecuted a third person for the same offence.

Published 19 February 2024
Abandoned vehicle in Wiltshire

Wiltshire Council has issued two fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for abandoned vehicles and has successfully prosecuted a third person for the same offence.

In July 2023, the council received a report about an abandoned vehicle in Royal Wootton Bassett. Upon receiving a report, officers must follow an assessment process for abandoned vehicles. This includes determining if the vehicle has one of a combination of factors such as being untaxed, no valid MOT certificate, flat tyres, being un-roadworthy or the presence of mould.

As the vehicle had no valid road tax or MOT, the owner was contacted by Enforcement Officers, who requested its removal from the highway. As no removal or claim was made by the owner, the vehicle was removed and recycled. The owner, Mr Aidan Green-Thompson of Cloatley Crescent, Royal Wootton Bassett, was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £200. After he failed to make payment, he was prosecuted by the council and was ordered by the court to pay fines and costs totalling £1,416.

In December 2023, a vehicle in Westbury and a vehicle in Market Lavington were reported as abandoned to the council. One had no tax or MOT and the other was missing registration plates, the bonnet, lights and other parts of the vehicle. Both had been left on the highway for a significant period of time, so a notice was served on both vehicles requesting the removal.

As the owners had not removed the vehicles within required timescales, they were removed by the council and stored. During this time, the registered keepers were again advised about the offence of abandoning a vehicle, and informed that if they did not claim their vehicles, they would be recycled and charges applied. Both owners were interviewed under caution and acknowledged that they were responsible for the vehicles being left on the road in an unroadworthy state. Each owner was issued with a FPN for £200. The owners cannot be named as they have not been prosecuted in open court.

Cllr Caroline Thomas, Cabinet Member for Highways and Waste, said: These penalties are three great examples that highlight the work we are doing to fulfil our duty to remove any vehicles abandoned on Wiltshire's public highways or public land.

Wiltshire's natural beauty plays a key part in the county's visitor economy, and taking responsibility and protecting the environment is a key part of our Business Plan. Abandoning vehicles is not only a criminal offence but it can have a negative effect on the quality of the local environment, and they can attract vandalism, crime and rubbish and can produce a risk of explosion and injury.

Approximately 50 vehicles are reported as abandoned to us every month, all of which are investigated by our Environmental Enforcement Officers. The majority are subsequently removed by the owners and placed on private land, but for those that have been abandoned, it is good to see the costs recouped and fines issued to deter further offences.

For more information on how to report or claim an abandoned vehicle, visit

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