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28 August, 2020

Is parking across a driveway illegal? The definitive answer

Finding a parking space can sometimes feel like “survival of the fittest”, leading to your regular parking spot being taken or someone parking outside your driveway. But is this illegal and can you actually do anything if this happens to you? We’ve got the definitive answer.

The rules on parking across a driveway

So is it illegal to park across a driveway if there’s a dropped kerb? Not necessarily. I know, probably
not the straightforward yes or no answer you were looking for right?

But like most things, this comes down to the way in which the Highway Code is written, which is why
its really important to firstly understand this basic principle when interpreting the Highway Code

Many of the rules in the ‘Code’ are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are
committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence, or even be
disqualified from driving. Such rules are identified by the use of the words ‘MUST/MUST NOT’
Although failure to comply with the other rules of the Code will not, in itself, cause a person to be
prosecuted,’ The Highway Code’ may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under the Traffic

Considering this, and whilst Highway Code Rule 243 clearly says; “DO NOT stop or park ‘in front of an
entrance to a property’” this is not subsequently backed up with any law, so no it may not be illegal
for someone to park across your driveaway.

However, all that changes if either of the following applies to a given situation of a vehicle parked
across a dropped kerb driveway.

  • On a street that has some form of parking restrictions in place, then the parked vehicle may
    be in contravention of various traffic laws, either enforced by the local authority or in certain
    cases, by the Police.
  • If the vehicle is parked in such a way as to be considered to breach Highway Code Rule 242
    which states “You MUST NOT leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it
    causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road. The specific laws this relates to are covered
    by the Road Traffic Act 1988, section 22 &/or Road Vehicles (Construction & Use)
    Regulations 1986, regulation 103.

There is a legal loophole we think everyone needs to be aware of, parking on someone else’s
driveway isn’t against the law!

This is due to the driveway being private land and therefore is a civil issue that the police and council
do not deal with. The council, however, are required to remove abandoned vehicles from private
and public property. But unless the vehicle isn’t taxed, insured or doesn’t have a valid MOT, it’s
unlikely that the council will touch it and will place the issue at the bottom of their priority list.
Luckily it’s very unlikely that this sort of thing happens, so hopefully, it’s not something you’ll ever
have to deal with.

Areas where you must not park

Here are some areas that you must not park in:

  • On school entrance markings
  • On a pedestrian crossing, including the area marked by the zig-zag lines
  • In marked taxi bays
  • In a tram or cycle lane during its period of operation
  • On red lines
  • In spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders, residents or motorbikes (unless entitled to do so)

In addition, you should not stop or park in any of the following places except when forced to do so by stationary traffic:

  • Anywhere that would prevent access for Emergency Services
  • At or near a bus/tram stop
  • Opposite or within 10 metres of a junction

Generally speaking, if you can see zig-zag lines, red or double yellow lines, then you can’t park there.

Hopefully, you’re now aware of your parking rights on and around private properties and know what you can do if there’s someone else’s car on your drive!