We’re all quite territorial creatures when it comes down to it.
And for some of us, there’s nothing more annoying than getting home after a long day at work to discover someone has parked in front of your house – or even worse in your driveway.
It doesn’t matter whether you can still park there or not, in your head that kerb is YOUR space. Or is it?
We’ve looked into whether this is illegal or not – and to make the rules clear, the 18 places you absolutely cannot park.
Is it illegal for someone to park outside my house?
Annoyingly for residents (but great for drivers), it is perfectly legal to park outside someone’s house, unless the vehicle is blocking a driveway or a wheel is over a dropped kerb, according to the RAC.
Other situations in which parking isn’t permitted include streets governed by residents’ parking permits or any of the restrictions outlined above, i.e. double yellow lines.
There is also something known as parking reserved for vehicles named.
This is when parking is reserved for a specific type of vehicle or user and you’ll be able to identify it because the bay will be marked by a dotted line, with their name painted on the road.
This doesn’t mean you can paint your name on the road – these types of bays are usually for a doctor, ambulance, disabled user or even a car club.
Increasingly, you may also find parking reserved for electric vehicles, which will be marked as ‘Electric Vehicles Only’ or a car and plug icon.
What about people parking on my driveway without permission?
We can’t imagine how incandescent we’d be if a stranger parked on our drive without permission.
However, we know it does happen, particularly if you live near an airport, football ground or attraction.
Technically, if a vehicle is parked on your driveway without permission, it is classed as trespassing.
BUT this is a civil, not a criminal offence, and therefore police will view it as such and drop it down their list of priorities.
This also means that as your driveway is private property, the council is also less likely to react, especially if the vehicle is taxed, insured and has a valid MOT.
This really doesn’t leave homeowners with many options aside from court proceedings or having the vehicle towed.
What if a vehicle is blocking my driveway?
Councils can issue a fine if a car blocks your driveway while parked on a public road.
And vehicles parked across dropped kerbs can also be ticketed, even if they’re not fully blocking it.
What should I do if people keep parking ‘anti-socially’?
Contact your council and the police – your neighbourhood policing teams may already be aware of a problem where you live.
Although there is very little under the law which they can do, they may be able to offer advice.
The Highway Code can only help if the parked car is causing an obstruction to the road but NOT in relation to your private land.
You could follow a legal claim for nuisance because the driver is interfering with your use and enjoyment of your property – but you’d need to know details of the vehicle’s owner.
According to the RAC, these are the places you should not park
- Near a school entrance
- Anywhere that would prevent access for emergency vehicles
- On a bus or tram stop, or a taxi rank
- On the approach to a level crossing
- Opposite or within 32 feet of a junction (except in an authorised parking bay)
- Near the brow of a hill or humpback bridge
- Opposite a traffic island or another parked vehicle (if it causes an obstruction)
- Where you would force another vehicle to enter a tram lane
- Where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair and mobility vehicle users
- In front of an entrance to a property
- On a bend
- Where you would obstruct a cycle lane
- A tram or cycle lane during its period of operation
- A cycle track
- A pedestrian crossing, including the zig-zag lines
- On the carriageway or the hard shoulder of a motorway (except in an emergency)
- Taxi bays
- A road marked with central double white lines, even if a broken white line is on your side of the road, except for dropping off, picking up, loading or unloading