Northumberland County Council is cracking down on abandoned vehicles following a sharp rise in incidents and is issuing a warning that the perpetrators could face a large fine.
The council is receiving reports of around 45 untaxed, uninsured abandoned vehicles each month which it must investigate - a time consuming and costly business.
The authority is now issuing a warning that the last owner or registered keeper will be liable for any costs incurred if the vehicle has to be uplifted.
In addition, the council will also issue a £200 Fixed Penalty Notice to the vehicle owner. In recent weeks, it has issued two such penalties for cars abandoned in Widdrington and Amble.
The council is advising that it is important, if passing on a vehicle even for no cost, that sellers complete the V5 document and notify DVLA. It is a criminal offence not to do so.
Northumberland County Councillor, deputy leader with responsibility for public protection, Dave Ledger said: “These vehicles are often insecure, unsightly and are detrimental to the local amenity.
“Residents should be aware that if a motor vehicle is left unattended and immobile on the highway or any open space which the public have access to, for a significant period of time, then the council has powers to remove and dispose of the vehicle. ”
Peter Simpson, public health protection manager at Northumberland County Council, added: “Vehicles in poor condition are being left on waste ground, in car parks or at the roadside and are having an adverse effect on the amenity of our communities.
“When people don’t have the money for repairs or to pay for the tax and insurance to put their vehicles on the road, the temptation is all too great to dump them. “The scrap value of vehicles has also fallen lately which has exacerbated the problem.
“If we have to remove these vehicles, the last owner or registered keeper will be liable for any costs incurred and will also receive a fixed penalty fine.”
Anyone with information on any abandoned vehicle should contact Northumberland County Council on 0345 600 6400 or complete the online form.