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Number of cars abandoned up more than 500 per cent in four years

Motors | Published:

Data obtained by Confused.com has revealed that the number of cars abandoned in the UK has increased six-fold in four years

The number of cars abandoned in the UK increased six-fold over the past four years, according to figures from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

Confused.com sent FOI Requests to 436 local authorities across Britain, revealing that 31,812 abandoned cars had to be removed by councils in 2016 and 2017, which equates to one every 30 minutes and an increase of 577 per cent in four years.

In 2016 and 2017, councils spent a grand total of £933,379 recovering abandoned vehicles, which is barely offset by the £115,610 gained from issuing fines to drivers. In addition, 20,551 of the seized cars were destroyed, which would have added to the expense.

There were 261,724 reports of abandoned vehicles made by the public in 2016 and 2017, with 60 per cent of UK drivers saying they are a nuisance and make streets look run down.

Of the people who report abandoned cars, 23 per cent say they have come across the vehicles at the side of a B-road, while a further 20 per cent have found them in residential areas.

Councils in the south-east received the highest number of reports, removing 6,264 vehicles from 61,268 reports, costing £128,078. However, the east of England had the highest rate of cars being abandoned, increasing 1,087 per cent over the course of four years.

(PA)
(PA)

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A possible reason for this problem is the affordability, as 23 per cent of people think motoring has become unaffordable. In fact, around 30 per cent of motorists who abandoned their cars did so because they could not afford to have it towed, while seven per cent could no longer afford to run the vehicle at all.

Despite all this, a mere seven per cent of drivers who abandoned their cars received a fine, with an average cost of £132.

(PA)
(PA)

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: “The rising cost of fuel, car insurance and tax is overwhelming some motorists, causing some of them to ditch their vehicles when they break down.

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“Councils spend hundreds of thousands of pounds every year removing unwanted cars from the roadside. Abandoned vehicles are an eye-sore and a nuisance. Drivers who suspect a car has been dumped in their area should contact their local council, who will get in touch with the owner, or remove it.

“Sadly, one of the reasons so many drivers are abandoning their vehicles is due to the rising cost of owning a car, especially car insurance which is now £827 on average. To save money, motorists should shop around.”

Written by Tristan Shale-Hester

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