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Huge rise in abandoned cars on our streets

Abandoned car

Britain is becoming a scrapheap for dumped cars with councils removing 34 abandoned vehicles every day at a cost of more than £500,000.

New data obtained by, through Freedom of Information requests to local authorities across England and Wales, reveals 12,442 abandoned vehicles were removed by councils in 2017/18.

The study claims that the number of dumped cars has increasing by 228% in five years and that more than one in five (22%) of UK drivers have abandoned their vehicle at some point.

Nuisance vehicles come at a price to the taxpayer, as local authorities in England and Wales forked out £527,380 in 2017/18 clearing the roads of abandoned cars. And this bill is barely paid by the £55,071 issued to drivers in fines over the same period. In the same year, councils were also responsible for destroying 8,886 of the seized vehicles.

The South East is revealed to be the scrapyard capital with more than 35,000 reports of abandoned vehicles, and more than 3,000 removed.

The sheer number of cars being stranded on the roadside has not gone unnoticed by the public, as 148,777 reports of abandoned vehicles were filed in England and Wales in 2017/18.

“The cost of running a car is becoming incredibly expensive and it seems this has caused thousands of drivers to ditch their vehicles. It’s worrying that they think this is their only option,” said Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at, which has created a helpful online tool, enabling motorists to report an abandoned car in their local area.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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