107 cars abandoned, and then destroyed, in Scarborough borough: and here's how much that has cost us

Scarborough Council has destroyed 107 cars that had been abandoned on the borough’s streets since 2013, figures reveal.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 2:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 2:13 pm
An abandoned car in Scarborough
An abandoned car in Scarborough

The disposal of the vehicles has cost the authority £5,350 in that time, with it able to recoup just £1,000 from the owners of the cars by way of fines.

The information has been revealed in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the council.

The number of abandoned vehicles spiked in 2015/16 and 2016/17 when 21 and 37 cars were left on the borough’s street in each period respectively.

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There had been just 15 abandonments in the two years previously.

A total of 36 have been left by their owners in the last two years starting in 2017/18, but the figure dropped sharply to just nine in the last 12 months. All of the cars were later destroyed by the council. It only managed to find and fine the owners in a small number of the cases.

When is a car abandoned?

According to the Government, a car is “likely” to have been abandoned if at least one of the following applies:

it has no keeper on DVLA’s database and is untaxed

it has been stationary for a significant amount of time

it is significantly damaged, rundown or unroadworthy – for example, has flat tyres, missing wheels or broken windows

it is burned out

a number plate is missing

When can the council destroy a car?

A council can dispose of an abandoned vehicle immediately if either of the following apply:

it is only fit to be destroyed

it has no number plates or tax disc (even an expired one)

In all other cases, the Government says a council must try to find the owner.

If the owner is found they have to be given seven days’ written notice to collect the vehicle before it can be disposed of. Councils can also sell the vehicle but the owner has 12 months to reclaim part of the profits from the authority.

What to do with unwanted vehicles?

If you live in Scarborough borough and you have a vehicle to dispose of, you can contact Scarborough Council’s Customer First to arrange a safe collection and disposal.

There are associated costs for this service and the log book must be made available to the council. Vehicles can also be sold privately.