Nuisance Parking and Abandoned Vehicles

Nuisance Parking

What is meant by Nuisance Parking?

Nuisance parking is not concerned with offences whereby members of the public park in areas that are designated no parking or private parking for which they are liable for parking fines. It relates to specific issues which may affect the proper enjoyment of a community as specified for in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act specifies the following two criminal offences in relation to nuisance parking:

  1. Exposing vehicles for sale on a road
  2. Repairing vehicles on a road

Exposing Vehicles for Sale on a Road

Some garages and businesses place cars for sale, for an extended period of time, on the street and also in lay-bys. This can cause a significant nuisance to local residents and can also take up valuable parking spaces required for local residents.

An individual will be guilty of this offence if he does one of the following actions:

  • Leaving two or more motor vehicles parked within 500 metres of each other on a road or roads where they are exposed or advertised for sale, or  
  • Causing two or more motor vehicles to be so left

If I run a business can I be prosecuted for this?

The local council can prosecute a business for either of the above criminal violations. If an individual or a business has been convicted of one of these offences then they can be liable for a fine of up to £2,500.

Local councils can also deal with this matter by issuing a £100 fixed penalty notice which can also be reduced to £60 for early payment.

I want to sell my car, can I be liable under the Act?

Section 3(2) of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act states that a person will not be liable if he can prove to the satisfaction of the court that he was not acting for the purposes of selling motor vehicles.

In reality it would not get to this stage when concerned with an individual placing an advertisement to sell their car in the window of the car while parked on the road. The offence targets people who run businesses and use the road to store their cars and common sense would expected to be used by the local council when dealing with private individuals.

Repairing Vehicles on a Road

The commercial repairing of vehicles should be something that is carried out in a garage or a site which is removed from the road. If cars are left on the street for a prolonged period of time in a state of repair or in lay-bys this may cause a significant nuisance to the local residents of the area. Parking may significantly be limited due to the cars taking up parking spaces and possibly also due to the difficulty of moving them when in a state of repair.

Section 4 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act makes it an offence for anyone to carry out restricted works on a motor vehicle on a road.

What is meant by restricted works?

Restricted works are defined by the act as the following:

  • Repair
  • Maintenance
  • Servicing
  • Improvement
  • Dismantling
  • Installation of parts
  • Replacement of parts
  • Renewal of parts

If I run a business can I be prosecuted for this?

The local council can prosecute a business for either any of the above restricted works carried out on a car on the road. If an individual or a business has been convicted of one of these offences then they can be liable for a fine of up to £2,500.

Local councils can also deal with this matter by issuing a £100 fixed penalty notice which can also be reduced to £60 for early payment.

I need to repair my car, can I be liable under the Act?

Section 4(3) of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act states a person will not be guilty of an offence if he can prove to the court he was not carrying out restricted works in the course of a business or for gain or reward.

Again the local council would be expected to use common sense logic when dealing with members of the general public carrying out maintenance and repair on their own vehicles which may be situated on the road.

Local Council Contact

If you as a member of the general public become aware of either of the offences in relation to nuisance parking you should report them to the local council and not the police.

Definitions under the Act

  • The term motor vehicle under the Act has the same meaning as under the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978.
  • The term road under the Act has the same meaning as under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

Abandoned Vehicles

Vehicles that have been abandoned on the roads, public or private land may cause a significant nuisance to the residents of that area. Both due to the parking spaces they may be taking up and also the unsightly nature of the abandoned vehicle.

Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978

Abandoned without lawful authority

The Refuse Disposal Amenity Act states that where it appears to a local authority that a vehicle has been abandoned without lawful authority on any land in the open air or on any other land forming part of a road or highway it shall be the duty of the local authority to remove the vehicle.

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005

Where the local authority has been able to identify and individual as having abandoned a vehicle and therefore committed a criminal offence under the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act the local council can serve on him a fixed penalty notice requiring the payment of £200.

While the individual is subject to the fixed penalty notice no criminal proceedings can be brought against him for 14 days after he has become subject to the notice or if he pays the notice. If he does not pay the notice then criminal convictions can be brought.

Road or Highway

Subject to the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act amended by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act the local authority is only under a duty to remove cars which have been abandoned on the road or highway.

What are the penalties for abandoning a car?

A person who is subject to a criminal conviction for abandoning a vehicle will be liable for a maximum penalty of £2,500 or three months imprisonment or in some cases both.

What to do if you spot an abandoned vehicle

If you believe a vehicle to be abandoned you should report it to your local council providing them with as much information as possible paying particular attention to the following:

  • The location of the vehicle (what address is it parked outside or near to)

  • The make, model and colour of the vehicle

  • The registration number (if visible)

  • What is the condition of the vehicle?

  • If the vehicle is burnt out

  • The amount of time the vehicle has been there