NALC Legal Topic Notes: Models / Procedures


There are a number of bodies with statutory powers to immobilise or remove vehicles on land that is not a public place. These include principal authorities in car parks they provide or manage, the police when enforcing road traffic contraventions or otherwise removing vehicles that are illegally, obstructively or dangerously parked; the police and principal authorities when exercising their powers to remove abandoned vehicles from private land. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (‘DVLA’) has similar powers in respect of vehicles that have no road tax. The Department for Transport’s Vehicle and Operator Services Agency has powers in respect of vehicles that are not roadworthy. The police and principal authorities have powers to remove vehicles forming part of an unauthorised traveller encampment. In addition, bailiffs have a mix of statutory and common law powers to immobilise and tow away vehicles for the purposes of enforcing debts (including those arising out of unpaid taxes and court fines).

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