In dense cities and towns, finding a parking space without blowing the bank can often be a hassle. Knowing where you can park, especially in new cities, can be a minefield. Luckily, the Bollards Direct team is here to help.
In this article, we'll explore the legality of parking on someone's driveway, what to do if someone parks on yours and how you can prevent it with the use of parking bollards.
Can someone legally park on your driveway?
If an unauthorised person leaves their car parked on your driveway, they'll be trespassing in the eyes of the law. Which makes this a civil offence and not a criminal offence, meaning the police don't get involved. In some cases, police may ask the driver to remove the car, but only if they can locate them.
Because the act of someone else parking on your driveway might not be seen as a criminal offence, the driver of the offending vehicle may even say no when asked by the police to remove their car. If they refuse, there's typically nothing that the police can do. What adds to the frustration of this is that local authorities usually don't have the power to remove the car.
There are some circumstances under which the police could treat it as antisocial behaviour. For example, if a person has parked their car over a dropped kerb and completely blocked your driveway, then the police may be able to take action. They may also be able to intervene if the vehicle is considered to be in a dangerous condition.
Parking on a dropped kerb
The reason why parking on a dropped kerb is considered a parking offence is because dropped kerbs are designed to allow vehicles to cross the pavement from the road to a driveway. If a vehicle is partially parked across a dropped kerb, then councils can issue penalty charge notices, even if a driveway isn't completely blocked.
Do note that it's not illegal for someone to park near or opposite a dropped kerb. If you park in front of a dropped kerb, you can expect to pay a £70 fine; however, this amount could vary depending on the local authority. So, you may pay more if you live in a city such as London.
If your property doesn't have a dropped kerb, then you can get in touch with your local council to apply for one. This entails you not driving on a footway to get onto your driveway. If your property is on a certain road, is a listed building, or is in a conservation area, then you may need to get planning permission first.
Bear in mind that while applying for a dropped kerb may sound like the almighty solution to your problem, it could still cost you a fair amount. Online reports state that getting one generally costs between £1,500 and £3,000. There's also the application process and planning to worry about, the latter of which could cost you around £800.
What can I do if someone parks on my drive?
While it's considered trespassing for someone to park on your private property, you need to refrain from doing anything to the vehicle. If you move it, deploy a wheel clamp, or cause any damage to it, then it may be considered a criminal offence.
Additionally, the owner of the offending vehicle could make an attempt to claim on your car insurance policy to fix any damage caused to their vehicle. If you use your car to block the other car, then you may end up in trouble for obstructing a public road. In some cases, getting a vehicle removed requires a solicitor to obtain the civil court's permission.
An option that people normally take is taking legal action against the legal owner of the vehicle. The problem with this is that it relies on you having to identify the owner, and launching a civil case can be a potentially costly process, particularly if you don't have legal expenses insurance.
If you strongly feel that a driver's parked car is interfering with the use and enjoyment of your property, you can look into modifying your driveway to discourage parking on your driveway. Some modification options may prove to be cheaper than seeking legal advice and pursuing a legal claim.
What to do if someone blocks your driveway
If someone has decided to park on your driveway or in front of it, then a conversation could be a good starting point. It helps to see whether your neighbours have any insights into who the vehicle belongs to.
If you prefer to stay detached from the situation, we suggest putting a politely-worded note on the vehicle's windscreen, requesting that the vehicle be moved. Some people try and take matters into their own hands by placing blockades, such as traffic bollards, themself. Doing this would be considered an offence, as it's not your private land.
How to report nuisance parking
When it comes to nuisance behaviour and parking, it's important to avoid taking matters into your own hands as much as possible. This is because directly confronting someone, for example, can quickly make a situation escalate. This is particularly the case when another party is receptive to your approach.
According to the Road Traffic Act, local authorities are in charge of parking enforcement. So, you should report nuisance behaviour to local authorities, either the local council or police. The authority that you report to depends on the category the parking offence falls into.
You can report the following parking offences to the police website or phone line:
- Parked dangerously
- A vehicle parked on zig-zag lines
- Parked in a manner that hinders emergency services
You can report the following types of parking offences to your local council:
- On a pedestrian crossing
- In marked taxi bays
- Parked in spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders
- Over a dropped kerb
Abandoned vehicles are typically left for the council to sort out. However, police forces encourage civilians to report these vehicles to them too.
Best places to park
If you have access to one, the best place for you to park your vehicle is a garage. Besides keeping your car safe, especially at night, a garage is good for keeping it away from the elements. Additionally, making use of your garage is ideal for mitigating disputes and freeing up your driveway for other uses.
Those who don't have access to a garage will have to make use of on-street parking. If the spot outside your property is always occupied by another vehicle, then you can consider using a parking app to help you find parking. While this isn't ideal, it can also help you avoid needless civil disputes.
Explore a range of parking security options with Bollards Direct
At Bollards Direct, we supply a wide range of bollards and posts, including parking bollards which can be installed to enhance security. Providing you with peace of mind, should someone attempt to park on your drive.
What is nuisance parking?
Nuisance parking is essentially the same thing as nuisance behaviour but just in the context of vehicles. It's considered to be the act of parking on private property without having permission to do so. A primary example of nuisance parking would be parking on someone's driveway or private parking space.
Can I rent out my driveway?
If your driveway is free for most of the day and you're looking to make some extra money, you're well within your right to rent it out.
An important aspect of this is ensuring that you know the identity of the person using your driveway. Luckily, there are websites out there which provide a platform upon which people can seamlessly rent out their driveway and track usage.
What is the Highway Code?
The Highway Code is important reading for all UK residents, whether or not they drive. It's a book that contains a set of rules related to people using a public highway or roads safely. Besides containing mandatory rules, it also has a set of key information, advice, and guidelines.
You can get a copy of the Highway Code by ordering it online, or you can find a copy in most high street bookshops.
Can I modify my driveway to prevent access?
Because driveways are considered private land, you're well within your right to make modifications to them that can block access. One increasingly popular way that people are doing this is by installing removable bollards.
The only issue with taking this approach is that you need to ensure that the bollards are legally installed. In other words, not on a public road and not hindering emergency services. Confirm the regulations with local authorities, after which you can check our wide range of bollards.