We have the powers to remove vehicles which have been abandoned on highways and other public open spaces. Vehicles can also be removed from private land with the landowner's consent. We can recover the costs of removing abandoned vehicles from vehicle owners. Collected vehicles may be stored and released on payment of statutory charges.

Unclaimed vehicles may be scrapped or, if saleable, sold by the council.

East Lothian Council works closely with the Police and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in administering these procedures.

There is no legal definition for an abandoned vehicle. However, a vehicle may be treated as abandoned if it has not moved for a considerable time and:

  • is damaged or in a run-down state
  • is burnt out
  • has no number plates
  • contains waste or attracts vandals
  • has no keeper on the DVLA system, or they fail to respond to requests to move the vehicle

If you think a vehicle may be abandoned email us and we will investigate.

Please provide this information:

  • exact location
  • make and model
  • registration (if any)
  • colour
  • your details
  • any other information that may be relevant

If a vehicle is taxed and not causing obstructions, it is not regarded as abandoned and we cannot deal with it.