Waste Management Act 1996

Abandoned vehicles.


71. (1) A vehicle shall not be abandoned on any land.

(2) Where there is a contravention of subsection (1)

( a) the person who placed the vehicle at the place where it was abandoned, and

( b) if there is a registered owner of the vehicle and the person aforesaid is not its registered owner, the registered owner,

shall each be guilty of an offence.

(3) In a prosecution for an offence under subsection (2), it shall be a good defence to prove—

( a) that the act complained of constituted the transfer of control of the vehicle concerned to a person, with his or her consent, at a facility provided by or on behalf of that person for the purpose of the recovery or disposal of vehicles (including a facility referred to in section 38 (3) ) and that such transfer of control was not effected in contravention of section 32 , or

( b) in case the defendant is the registered owner of the vehicle concerned, that the abandonment of the vehicle was not authorised by him or her.

(4) Without prejudice to the provisions of sections 55 (6) and 56 , and notwithstanding the provisions of any regulations made under section 97 (inserted by section 63 of the Road Traffic Act, 1968) of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, a local authority may enter on any land upon which a vehicle has been abandoned and remove the said vehicle; a local authority shall not, other than with the consent of the occupier, enter into a private dwelling under this subsection unless it has given to the occupier of the dwelling not less than 24 hours notice in writing of its intended entry.

(5) Where, in relation to a vehicle removed from land by a local authority under subsection (4)

( a) the local authority is of the opinion that the condition of the vehicle is such that it is capable of being used as a vehicle or can, by the expenditure of a reasonable amount of money, be rendered capable of being so used, and

( b) the local authority can, by reasonable inquiry, ascertain the name and address of the owner of the vehicle,

the local authority shall store or arrange for the storage of the vehicle and shall serve a notice on the owner informing him or her of the removal and storage and of the address of the place where the vehicle may be claimed or recovered, and such a notice shall require the owner to claim or recover it within 2 weeks of the date of the service of the notice and inform him or her of the consequences specified in subsection (7) of his or her failure to do so.

(6) A vehicle to which subsection (5) applies shall be given to a person claiming the vehicle if, but only if, he or she makes a declaration in such form as may be specified by the local authority concerned or in a form to the like effect, stating that he or she is the owner of the vehicle or is authorised by its owner to claim it, and pays to the local authority the amount of the expenditure reasonably incurred by the local authority in respect of the removal and storage of the vehicle.

(7) Where a vehicle is removed from land by a local authority under subsection (4), and—

( a) subsection (5) (a) does not apply in respect of the vehicle, or

( b) the name and address of the owner of the vehicle cannot be ascertained by the local authority by reasonable inquiry, or

( c) the said owner fails to claim the vehicle and remove it from the place where it is stored within 4 weeks of the date on which a notice under subsection (5) has been served on him or her,

the vehicle shall become the property of the local authority.

(8) No action shall lie in respect of anything done in good faith and without negligence in the course of the removal or storage of a vehicle under this section.

(9) A person who makes a declaration under subsection (6) which to his or her knowledge is false or misleading in a material respect shall be guilty of an offence.

(10) For the purposes of this section—

abandoned”, in relation to a vehicle, includes left in such circumstances or for such period that it is reasonable to assume that the vehicle has been abandoned, and cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

local authority” includes the corporation of a borough of any kind and the council of an urban district;

registered owner” has the meaning assigned to it by the Road Traffic Act, 1961.