A random car has been parked on my driveway and the owner refuses to move it - can I get it removed?

A random car has parked on my property and the owner refuses to move it. I don't know if it's roadworthy, but it looks in decent condition. What are my options to remove it?

Asked on 26 November 2018 by J M S

Answered by Georgia Petrie
Annoyingly, parking on someone's driveway is a bit of a grey area. Your driveway is part of your property, so this is technically trespassing. However, the police can't make an arrest because it's a civil offence, not a criminal offence. The local authority generally deals with parking enforcement, rather than the police. But because your driveway is private property, the council have no authority to do anything if it isn't abandoned or dangerous. They only act if the car is on a public road, blocking a driveway entrance/exit. A lot of people often assume they should get the trespassing vehicle towed away, but if the car gets damaged, you could be liable to pay for repairs. You can only really get the car removed if it has no tax, no number plates (or any other signs of abandonment) or is leaking fluid - like petrol. A legal route can be taken, although this can be a long and costly process with no guarantee of success.

If you hire a solicitor, they can find out the legal owner of the vehicle and a judge would have to order a removal. But your first port of call should be to try to find who owns the car and resolve the issue. Alternatively, put up a fence or bollards to prevent this happening in the future. A lot of residential areas near schools, train stations and airports see this kind of behaviour because of the expense/lack of space for car parks. It's an irritating situation, but you should report it to the council and police anyway to see what they can do.

If the vehicle has been untaxed for at least one month (you can check using the reg plate: www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax) and left in the same location for a significant amount of time it can be classed as abandoned and therefore removed. You can do that here: www.gov.uk/report-abandoned-vehicle
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