Report an untaxed car parked on a public road


Untaxed, dumped cars are unsightly and anti-social – and take up parking space for locals and visitors. Here motoring journalist and expert Pete Barden explains how to get the abandoned illegal vehicle towed away as quickly as possible.

Using free online tools, you can easily find out if cars are taxed and have and MOT – revealing instantly if the vehicle is legitimately parked or should be removed and potentially crushed by the authorities.

The benefit of using these tools to check tax, MOT and even insurance, ensure that legally parked cars are not targeted. Remember, no one owns a parking space on public roads so a car that’s legal cannot be prevented from parking – even if it is outside your home.

Have you got an untaxed car dumped on your street? Here is how to get rid of itEven if a car has no tax you can have it removed - while the owner of this historic Jaguar would not have to pay tax, it would still need to be registered (library image only).  (Credit:

How to check if a car has tax

As we’ve already said, just because it is parked outside your home, it does not mean the car is illegal. However, if you believe the car has been abandoned on the street, checking the tax is the first move. This is easy, instant and free – just take a note of the car’s registration number and make and model, then log on to the government’s website and enter the details here to check if the car has current VED.

What if a vehicle is untaxed or on a SORN?

If the car has not got valid VED you should move on to the next stage of reporting the vehicle and start the process of getting the untaxed car removed from your street.

If the government tool shows the car is covered by a SORN (Standard Off Road Notice), this means it is not taxed and should only be on private property, such as a driveway. If the SORN car is on the public road, or public car park, then it should be reported immediately.

What details do I need to report an untaxed car?

Having all the information to hand when making a report will ensure the untaxed car is removed as quickly as possible. Here is what you will need.

  • Vehicle registration number
  • Make, model and colour of the vehicle
  • Street name, town and postcode where the vehicle is parked
  • If the vehicle is removed at times – such as in evenings or during the day – you should say what times it is usually parked.

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How do I report an untaxed vehicle?

With confirmation that the car is untaxed, and the information described above in hand, you can now move on to report the untaxed car. This is something you can do easily online.

You can report what you consider to be an illegal vehicle at the site here.

What will happen to illegal untaxed cars?

The car will not be towed away instantly, but will likely be clamped by the DVLA and a notice sent to the registered owner. If the tax and possible fine is paid, the vehicle will be released back to the owner. However, if not, the vehicle will eventually be towed away and crushed.

What about checking the vehicle’s insurance?

Cars must be insured if they are driven or parked on a public road, but checking this is not as easy as seeing if it has MOT or Tax. There is a database that’s free to check for your own car, but it is an offence to look up a car that is not connected to you. To do this, you’ll need to pay a fee of £4 by clicking here.

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Author: Pete Barden:

Twitter: @pete_barden

Pete Barden is a qualified journalist who has written and produced for publications including The Sun (, New Statesman Media Group, Whatcar? ( Stuff Magazine (, Fastcar Magazine (, Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP). Pete specialises in motoring and travel content, along with news and production roles. You can find out more about Pete Barden on LinkedIn.

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