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28th 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? As long as there’s a dropped kerb, yes it’s illegal to park there.

What makes this illegal isn’t the restriction of access to the driveway, but that dropped kerbs are a no-go for parking. If a vehicle is only just partially covering a dropped kerb, the owner will be committing a driving offence and can be liable to receive a penalty of up to 3 points and £100. Parking close to the dropped kerb, however, is not illegal even if this restricts access to a driveway.

There is one loophole however that actually allows for other people to park in someone else’s driveway. That’s right, parking outside someone’s driveway is illegal but parking inside someone else’s driveway isn’t.

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.



Does the space outside your house belong to you?

In short, no. Unfortunately, not only you are entitled to park in a space outside of your house. Whether you park there the majority of the time or even have a parking agreement with neighbours, this space is open for anyone to park in and there’s no action you can take against someone that parks there.

There are a couple of parking rules that sit in a grey-area regarding this. Those rules are that you’re not allowed to park ‘in front of an entrance to a property’, or ‘anywhere that would prevent access for emergency services’. However, if this is the case, you probably shouldn’t be parking there either.

There is one exception to the above and that’s if your street is governed by residents parking permits. These areas require displayed permits, owned by residents only, for specified periods of the day.



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
  • Over a dropped kerb
  • In front of the entrance to a property

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!

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