Abandoned Cars Around the World

  • Author: OPONEO.CO.UK

The number of abandoned cars in the UK has tripled within the last four-years; councils are removing one abandoned car every thirty-minutes. In Coventry alone, there were 2,321 cars abandoned last year – it’s the capital of car dumping!

Whilst it’s on the increase in the UK, if you look slightly further afield, you can find some rare or vintage cars, just sitting abandoned, waiting for nature to take them. As petrolheads, some of these would break your heart!

abandoned and old cars

Aston Martin DB4

This rare vintage car was bought by a Massachusetts resident back in 1970. He parked it up on his land and never returned to it. It stood for 45 years in the same place, slowly deteriorating until it got rescued. It’s now valued at around $400,000 USD.

Lamborghini Miura

This Lambo was bought by Aristotle Onassis back in 1969 for a rally driving friend, everything was great until the engine went, which was promptly shipped back to Lamborghini for repair. The car was parked underneath the Hilton Hotel, Athens, and after Onassis had an argument with Lamborghini, there it stayed for the next thirty years. In 2012, the car and engine were reunited, it was later sold for $483,210 USD.

Jaguar XJ220

Known for the legendary performance, the XJ220 was one of the world’s leading supercars when it was produced, everything shouted ‘performance’, right down to the faired-in headlights.

This particular XJ was found abandoned on the edge of the Qatari desert, with just 560 miles on the clock. Sacrilege.

old, abandoned car

Ford Sierra Cosworth

This isn’t just one ‘Cossy’ parked up and forgotten about, this is a Sierra Cosworth graveyard. Located about 60 miles from Stockholm, there is a rural pasture that has row upon row of dead Cosworths, all just slowly dying away, ready to meet their maker.

For such an iconic car, this has to be the saddest death – perhaps it would have been better if it had been created in a council estate in Manchester.

Dubai airport

Getting into debt in Dubai is a very serious thing – prison is about the best you can hope for!
Back in the early 00s, business people were moving out to Dubai with the hope of serious money and flash lifestyles, but as times got hard, they chose to abandon everything and just leave. This means that the airport carpark in Dubai has everything from classic

Rolls-Royces, Ferraris, Maseratis, Audis, Range Rovers … the list goes on … just simply rotting away, with no owner coming to collect them. It’s perhaps the most impressive car graveyard in the world.

The legalities

Having a car abandoned in your road, or at the end of your drive is annoying, but there is no legal definition as to what constitutes an abandoned car, although the local authorities (including the police) do have some guidelines to consider after a car has been reported abandoned.

Is it taxed and MOT’d? Insured? Has it remained there for a significant amount of time? Obviously un-roadworthy? Is there any significant damage?

wrecked car

The local authority has an obligation to remove the car if it’s proven (or suspected) that it has indeed been abandoned, they must do this for free, although if the car is on private property, the issue does get a little murky.

In recent times, the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) has been clamping down on Vehicle Excise Duty (tax disc) dodgers, and their mobile patrols are constantly looking for vehicles that have been left on a public highway that do not have VED currently – if this is the case, they’ll clamp it before removing it.

Can you claim it?

If you’ve seen what you think is an abandoned car, it may be possible to claim it for yourself, but you should always consider that the car may have been used in some sort of crime.
The easiest way to start the ball-rolling (once you have decided that it has been abandoned) is to apply for a new registration certificate; the authorities will do all they can to trace the owner of the vehicle.

Don’t rely on the registration number for identification though – you’ll need to find the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number or chassis number) for ultimate proof of the vehicles ID.

In many cases, an abandoned car just isn’t worth the trouble or paperwork, but very occasionally, you may find a gem that is rare or valuable – you could just be very lucky!


If you are interested in end-of-life vehicles click here.

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