The number of vehicles abandoned rose 577 percent between 2012 and 2016.

The number of cars being abandoned in the UK has increased six-fold in a four-year period, according to data from councils across the UK.

A freedom of information request from insurance website discovered that the number of abandoned vehicles rose by 577 percent between 2012 and 2016.

And the epidemic continues, with almost 32,000 vehicles being removed by councils during 2016 and 2017. Of those, around 20,000 had to be destroyed, costing the taxpayer more than £930,000.

In comparison, the total cost of fines dished out to motorists for abandoning their vehicles amounted to just £115,610.

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South-east England, it seems, is the country’s abandonment hotspot, with authorities there receiving more reports (61,268) and removing more vehicles (6,264) than any other region in the UK during 2016 and 2017.

According to, affordability is the main reason for abandoning a vehicle, with almost a quarter (23 percent) of those quizzed saying that the costs associated with motoring have become unaffordable, while 30 percent of drivers who claimed to have abandoned a car said that they did so because it had broken down and they could not afford to have it towed away.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at, 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. Councils spend hundreds of thousands of pounds every year removing unwanted cars from the roadside.

‘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.’

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