Cars being abandoned on British roads trebles


Cars being abandoned on British roads trebles

Britain is 'becoming a scrapyard' as the number of cars being dumped and abandoned on the roadside trebles

There has been a resurgence of old bangers being left at the side of the road by their owners as higher scrappage costs are leading to more drivers looking to save on the scrapping costs.

The data comes from Freedom of Information requests to over 400 councils which revealed the number of cars being reported as abandoned has risen nearly three times from 40,876 in 2012 to 147,616 in 2016.

Experts are saying that this new trend was down to rising scrappage costs and also because drivers choosing to run their cars into the ground instead of switching them for newer models. The president of the AA, Edmund King, said:
"Twenty years ago if you had a rubbish car you could get £150 for scrapping it. But in recent years the price of metal has gone down and nowadays people will be asked to pay over £100 to have their car taken away and scrapped.

"We have also seen an increase in people keeping hold of their cars for longer and changing them less frequently to save money, so that is also likely to be a factor."

According to the most recent data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers the average age of a vehicle on the road has increased, from 6.8 years in 2003 to 7.8 recorded in 2015.

The average age of a car at scrappage in 2015 rose to 13.9 years, up from 13 years in 2009. Sales of new cars has slumped in recent months leading to the SMMT revealing that second-hand cars have fallen by 1.1 per cent last year as the car-buying slump hit the used market for the first time.

Some 8.2 million used cars changed hands in 2017, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed, which is 87,000 fewer than the year previous.

Councils are now spending a million pounds a year on removing old bangers from the roadside with total of 18,941 towed away by councils in 2016, up sixfold from 2,797 in 2012, the data showed.

Fines for abandoning cars varies between councils but averages at around £132 per incident. It has also been revealed that three out of five UK drivers say they find these abandoned cars a nuisance and feel they make the streets look run down. 23 per cent drivers surveyed has said they have come across an abandoned cars on the side of a B-road.


The data was compiled by Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at
“The rising cost of fuel, car insurance and tax is overwhelming some motorists, causing some of them to ditch their vehicles when they breakdown.  

“Abandoned vehicles are an eyesore 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."