A council crackdown on abandoned and untaxed vehicles has been launched as Hartlepool has seen the higest rate of dumped vehicles taken off the sreets in the North East.
Data obtained through Freedom of Information requests found that 155 vehicles were dumped in the town between 2016 and October last year.
Hartlepool Borough Council has removed the most vehicles in of any local authority in the North East and has already dealt with 13 abandoned vehicles so far this year alone.
The North East has become a scrapyard for abandoned cars, as new research reveals the number of vehicles being dumped on the roadside has increased a huge 558% in four years.
This proved to be an expensive issue for local authorities in the region as £52,265 of taxpayers’ money was spent removing 653 vehicles in 2016 and 2017.
Hartlepool council says that untaxed vehicles are removed by contractors working on its behalf as soon as they are identified and placed in storage until all payments, including a surety, back tax and release and storage fees are paid.
A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “Untaxed and abandoned vehicles are a serious issue and one that can blight communities.
“The vehicles can pose a safety risk to children, they are often used in crime and in many cases they are vandalised and set on fire, so we take a deliberately proactive approach to ensure their prompt removal from the town’s streets.”
A whopping 31,812 vehicles in total were removed by councils across Britain in 2016 and 2017 – that’s one car every 30 minutes.
To try and address the problem of abandoned vehicles clogging up Britain’s roads and car parks, garages and manufacturers have put in place scrappage schemes to help relieve drivers of their old or unwanted cars sustainably.
But, only one in eight motorists have used one of these schemes.
Drivers using these schemes can be entitled to cashback if their vehicles meets a certain criteria, which is both easier and potentially more financially rewarding than selling a car privately.
And with the rising costs of car insurance, fuel and servicing and repair costs, a bit of extra cash could certainly come in handy.
To visualise the epidemic, the driver savings site has created an interactive scrapyard map, which compares the most prolific areas in Britain for drivers ditching their cars.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, which released the data, said: “The rising cost of fuel, car insurance and tax is overwhelming some motorists in the North East, causing some of them to ditch their vehicles.
“Our interactive map shows just how much of an issue this has become, as councils spend thousands of pounds every year removing unwanted cars from the roadside.
“Abandoned vehicles are an eye-sore and a nuisance.”