If you live on a busy road, you’ll likely be familiar with the struggle of trying to find a place to park outside your house when you get home in the evening. Does your perfect spot always get taken by a neighbour? Do you find that parked cars are often blocking part of your driveway? If you’re unsure of your parking rights at home, we’re here to clear things up!
Believe it or not, it’s not illegal to park on someone else’s driveway. If someone has parked on your driveway without your permission, this would be classed as trespassing. As trespassing is a civil and not a criminal offence, the police are unlikely to get involved. And as your driveway is classed as private property, local authorities don’t have the power to issue a fine or remove the vehicle.
Although extremely frustrating, there’s often not a lot you can do, unless you’re willing to fork out on an eviction notice from the courts, so it’s often best to sit tight and wait for the driver to leave.
On-road parking can often be the source of disputes between neighbours who don’t have designated parking spaces. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do about cars parking in the prime spot outside your house – annoying as it may be when it’s pouring with rain and you’ve just come home from a long day at work. Providing that they’re not contravening parking restrictions, drivers can park in any space they find.
There aren’t any rules around how long a car can be parked in a space for. Local councils will only act to remove a car if it’s been abandoned, is in a dangerous condition or isn’t taxed and insured.
Unfortunately, saving the parking space outside your house isn’t allowed either. Anyone caught causing an obstruction in the road can be fined by the authorities, so it’s not worth leaving a traffic cone out in the hope that it’ll deter drivers from parking outside your house.
Most councils have taken on the responsibility for enforcing parking provisions, under what if know as Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE). It is an offence under CPE to park a vehicle where it blocks a dropped kerb driveway. Check if your local council has taken on CPE.
If you find your council has taken on CPE, you will need to report the vehicle obstructing your dropped kerb driveway to them. If your local council has not taken on CPE, you will need to contact the local police. The outcome will vary depending on the police/council’s policy for dealing with such matters. You could find that police will only attend if your car is blocked in.
If you do happen to find a stranger’s car blocking or parked on your driveway, make sure you don’t try to move it yourself in a way that could cause damage to the vehicle. Vandalising the car in any way will be considered a criminal act and you could face prosecution.
And whilst it may also be tempting to block a car parked on your driveway in, by causing an obstruction to the public highway you would be the one committing a criminal offence and the owner of the vehicle on your drive could call the police on you.