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Parking Near Private Driveway: What is the Law?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 19 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Parking Near Private Driveway: What Is The Law?

Q.

I would like to know if there is a legal limit to how close you can park next to a driveway? I have issues with my neighbours parking partially over and completely blocking my driveway, which restricts exit and entrance. I also have a tree to contend with and a busy road. I have come to the end of my tether but don't want to upset anyone (unlike my neighbours!)

(H.H, 20 July 2009)

A.

Parking over and blocking a driveway belonging to someone else is one of the most common reasons that people end up falling out with their neighbours. It's rude, discourteous and can cause a whole lot of problems, especially if access to the driveway is completely blocked in either direction.

When faced with this situation, many homeowners try to fight fire with fire and come out brandishing a copy of the Highway Code which in paragraph 243 requests that motorists "DO NOT PARK in front of an entrance to a property".

However, if they take things further and report the offender to the police - it often comes as a big surprise to find out that it isn't actually illegal for a motorist to park in front of a private driveway, despite what you think the Highway Code is saying. The important thing to pay attention to is the language used in the rulings. If 'Do not' is used, then this is advisory and should be followed - but there is no legal comeback if a motorist chooses to ignore it. However, if the rule states 'Must not' then this is a legal requirement and the driver must therefore obey it or if caught or reported, face legal action.

So, ultimately, this is down to a question of courtesy and respect between you and your neighbours. If you do suffer from a repeat offender who insists on blocking your driveway then do be careful. As you are not backed up by law, the best thing you can do is to approach them calmly and try to sort out the situation amicably. If they aren't interested, or continue to ignore you and park in front of your property, blocking your access, then unfortunately the only thing you can do to ensure that you have full access to your drive is to park somewhere else - perhaps, if you're a fan of irony and you can get there first, even in front of your own driveway. If you do this often enough they'll probably get bored and give up.

It does seem incredibly unfair that someone can do this when you have forked out for a home with somewhere safe to park your car off the road - and if you are blocked ONTO your drive, then you might find a kind police officer who will make enquiries for you, contact the owner and ask them to move their vehicle. However the police are not bound to act as according to the Highway Code every driver has a right to park anywhere on a public highway except those places which are expressly forbidden.

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My daughter lives in a cul de sac and has new neighbours. There has not been a fence between the 2 properties for years but now they are putting one up that is about 6ft high and now my daughter cannot see to get out of her driveway. There are a few children who always play out front and quite a few cars go in and out. It is now dangerous as she cannot see. Is there anything she can do please?
Croaks - 19-Apr-18 @ 4:50 PM
Is English law being used here as opposed to Scots? Maybe clarification on both required.
Eck - 12-Apr-18 @ 12:22 PM
An unknown car parked on my private forecourt for 8 days. It seems I had no rights at all legally, not even access to the details of the owner because of the data protection act! The only way is to pay yobs of money and get a court order to get rid of someone trespassing on one’s own land! I managed to get hold of the owner in the end through Facebook as his name was on a National Trust cardwhich was on the dashboard. His daughter had borrowed the car and went on holiday! So theoretically, if anyone wishes to avoid paying parking fees anywhere, they can just park on anyone’s drive, and go on holiday for as long as they want to! There is something terribly wrong with this. There should be a civil law enforcement authority that people can get help and support from. It would perhaps prevent a lot of criminal damage committed through sheer frustration!!!
LadyA1 - 1-Apr-18 @ 12:40 AM
My next door neighbours’ drive is long enough for 2 cars, however they park their caravan at the front of the drive blocking the rest of their drive, so they park their car on the road outside our house (which obstructs the steps leading to our door). We had a visitor who parked about 5 feet from the entrance to their drive & the neighbours came round demanding she moved her car as it was blocking access to their drive (despite not actually being able to park on their drive due to the caravan being there). I would never want to block access to someone’s drive, but not sure on whether they were right by saying it’s illegal to park where she did (our neighbours would have been able to get onto their drive if the caravan was further back). They also said it was not illegal for them to park in front of our steps. Advice please! Thanks
Snails - 21-Mar-18 @ 7:01 PM
planty - Your Question:
We have along access to our drive which runs across the front of next but one house, the {there drive is completely separate to mine, BUT they keep parking on my access, what can I do to prevent stop them, thanks neil

Our Response:
Do they have access rights? Are there any terms (in your deeds?) relating to stopping on the access. We'd say this is a civil matter.
SaferMotoring - 13-Mar-18 @ 12:46 PM
we have along access to our drive which runs across the front of next but one house, the {there drive is completely separate tomine, BUT they keep parking on my access, what can I do to prevent stop them, thanks neil
planty - 10-Mar-18 @ 2:31 PM
Osttt - Your Question:
We live in a Terrence house and recently had our kerb dropped and the council put a white H in front, people have been parking over this blocking our driveway is the legal?

Our Response:
A white H mark has no legal bearing unfortunately for you. It is just a deterrent to other drivers. However, if you live in a special enforcement area, it is illegal to park across a driveway...check with your local parking authority to see if your area is designated. Also, if your vehicle is actually blocked in your driveway by a parked vehicle, you can contract the police and report it as an obstruction.
SaferMotoring - 6-Mar-18 @ 3:24 PM
Fuzedzn - Your Question:
For 11 years we've parked in front of a dropped kerb in front of a "drive way" however the only time someone parked on it they couldn't get out the car.Recently new owners have been leaving notes on my car with the most recent threating to have my car removed. They claim to need access 24/7 however I have yet to see them use it still. Am I right to keep parking there when there's nowhere else on the road?

Our Response:
Check with the your local parking authority, in some areas (special enforcement areas) it is illegal to park across a driveway. The fact that these are new owners suggests they may be considering actually parking in the drive too? If so, you shouldn't park there anyway.
SaferMotoring - 6-Mar-18 @ 1:54 PM
RB - Your Question:
Can you tell me who is in the wrong in this?A person parked the car the opposite side of the road where a driveway is because the person had nowhere else to park because its a narrow one way bend road.When the person need to leave then had to to do a three way turn to go back up that road to go on to the main road which means at the first turn off heading to the opposite driveway but not actually driving up to the driveway but the public dropped kerb to turn the car round and reverse back then turning to head out to the main road.The owner of the driveway comes out with an attitude telling the driver not to do that again. Was the driver wrong to do that? Or the owner? Does the owner have any rights?

Our Response:
We can't give an opinion on individual incidents as we don't have both parties' versions of events.
SaferMotoring - 6-Mar-18 @ 11:42 AM
We live in a Terrence house and recently had our kerb dropped and the council put a white H in front, people have been parking over this blocking our driveway is the legal?
Osttt - 4-Mar-18 @ 11:44 PM
For 11 years we've parked in front of a dropped kerb in front of a "drive way" however the only time someone parked on it they couldn't get out the car. Recently new owners have been leaving notes on my car with the most recent threating to have my car removed. They claim to need access 24/7 however I have yet to see them use it still. Am I right to keep parking there when there's nowhere else on the road?
Fuzedzn - 4-Mar-18 @ 1:43 PM
Can you tell me who is in the wrong in this? A person parked the car the opposite side of the road where a driveway is because the person had nowhere else to park because its a narrow one way bend road. When the person need to leave then had to to do a three way turn to go back up that road to go on to the main road which means at the first turn off heading to the opposite driveway but not actually driving up to the driveway but the public dropped kerb to turn the car round and reverse back then turning to head out to the main road. The owner of the driveway comes out with an attitude telling the driver not to do that again. Was the driver wrong to do that? Or the owner? Does the owner have any rights?
RB - 3-Mar-18 @ 4:33 PM
Sparky - Your Question:
I live in an area with a private drive off the main road. The driveway is owned and maintained by 4 dwellings each owning a quarter share. There is a caveat on all our 4 houses' deeds which allows access to one dwelling on land at the top of this driveway. The land and dwelling which our deeds allow access to has now been sold for the building of 5 new dwellings with the only access being via our driveway. How can this be allowed please, since most of the driveway's owners do not want to allow access, which is in contravention of our deeds?

Our Response:
You may have to take legal action over this. There are a various options including having the road adopted or making the developer responsible for the access road etc. See professional legal advice.
SaferMotoring - 19-Feb-18 @ 3:46 PM
KB - Your Question:
My neighbour has a dropped kerb outside his house but a front garden with a wall, so cannot use his drive for a car. He has suddenly told us we cannot park outside his house anymore as he wants to park there? Is this legally enforceable? Thanks in advance.

Our Response:
No, if there is a garden wall in place and not a driveway, it would be unusual to use any locally imposed restrictions on parking across a dropped kerb/driveway.
SaferMotoring - 19-Feb-18 @ 3:38 PM
I live in an area with a private drive off the main road. The driveway is owned and maintained by 4 dwellings each owning a quarter share. There is a caveat on all our 4 houses' deeds which allows access to one dwelling on land at the top of this driveway. The land and dwelling which our deeds allow access to has now been sold for the building of 5 new dwellings with the only access being via our driveway. How can this be allowed please, since most of the driveway's owners do not want to allow access, which is in contravention of our deeds?
Sparky - 17-Feb-18 @ 4:35 PM
My neighbour has a dropped kerb outside his house but a front garden with a wall, so cannot use his drive for a car. He has suddenly told us we cannot park outside his house anymore as he wants to park there? Is this legally enforceable? Thanks in advance.
KB - 17-Feb-18 @ 9:59 AM
Nick - Your Question:
What distance needs to be between a vehicle and a driveway on the opposite side of the road?

Our Response:
There are no specifications relating to this as far as we know.
SaferMotoring - 16-Feb-18 @ 11:49 AM
Steve - Your Question:
I live in a condominium and have an exclusive use driveway which is for one car. If I can manage to squeeze 2 cars side by side, is there a law preventing me to do so. Can you provide some traffic acts/rules in this regard.Going through the stories where access to ones property can be denied by someone parking on the road in front of your property driveway, has anyone tried getting this traffic law altered as it does not make any sense. What if there is an emergency in the house and a car is blocking the entrance, are the emergency team supposed to walk with all their gear to get the house instead having the closest access to the emergency which could be the residents driveway ? Waiting for someone to die before we get this ridiculous traffic act changed ? We pay property tax so that we have no say whether we can enter our own property ? sad :(

Our Response:
If it's a private driveway on your own property you can do as you like. If you live in apartments, there will usually be rules/conditions relating to access etc.
SaferMotoring - 16-Feb-18 @ 10:58 AM
What distance needs to be between a vehicle and a driveway on the opposite side of the road?
Nick - 14-Feb-18 @ 11:20 AM
I live in a condominium and havean exclusive use driveway which is for one car. If I can manage to squeeze 2 cars side by side, is there a law preventing me to do so. Can you provide some traffic acts/rules in this regard. Going through the stories where access to ones property can be denied by someone parking on the road in front of your property driveway, has anyone tried getting this traffic law altered as it does not make any sense. What if there is an emergency in the house and a car is blocking the entrance, are the emergency team supposed to walk with all their gear to get the house instead having the closest access to the emergency which could be the residents driveway ? Waiting for someone to die before we get this ridiculous traffic act changed ?. We pay property tax so that we have no say whether we can enter our own property ? sad :(
Steve - 13-Feb-18 @ 9:47 PM
Curious- Your Question:
I understand that blocking a private drive is only illegal if the owner cannot leave their property, not if they can’t return home, is that correct?

Our Response:
Not necessarily. In some special enforcement areas, it is just illegal to park across a driveway.
SaferMotoring - 7-Feb-18 @ 2:36 PM
I understand that blocking a private drive is only illegal if the owner cannot leave their property, not if they can’t return home, is that correct?
Curious - 6-Feb-18 @ 6:48 PM
Tess - Your Question:
Hi I'm desperately want to know what can I do with traffic forever blocking my driveway weekends due to tavern next to me(neighbours) I'm stressed out and they are ignoring me, when ever I need to get to my home I have to wait and everytime get upset. Please hear my cry! I fear weekends cos its the same all the time. Thanks in advace

Our Response:
Blocking a driveway is illegal in some parts of the country (special enforecement areas). Please contact your local authortiy to see whether this is in place in your area. If so, the local enforcement agency will be able to act.
SaferMotoring - 5-Feb-18 @ 10:49 AM
Hi I'm desperately want to know what can I do with traffic forever blocking my driveway weekends due to tavern next to me(neighbours) I'm stressed out and they are ignoring me, when ever I need to get to my home I have to wait and everytime get upset. Please hear my cry!I fear weekends cos its the same all the time. Thanks in advace
Tess - 2-Feb-18 @ 12:28 PM
Snuggly - Your Question:
Yes there is a law contravention code 27 states no part of a dropped kerb can be parked over.

Our Response:
Please note contravention code 27 is only enforceable within a Special Enforcement Area (SPA). So you will need to check if your area is designated as such in order to use this.
SaferMotoring - 30-Jan-18 @ 11:38 AM
Yes there is a law contravention code 27 states no part of a dropped kerb can be parked over.
Snuggly - 28-Jan-18 @ 7:22 PM
Al - Your Question:
My partner and I recently bought our first property together. The property is a flat but came with a parking space which, is highlighted by our land registry certificate as being ours. The parking space is one of two, ours being 1b and the other 1a. A silver car keeps parking on which ever of those spaces is free and the car does not belong to either myself or our lovely neighbours flat 1a. I've left a polite note but they continue to park on it meaning that, we are having to share one parking space with flat 1a despite both properties legally owning one space each. Where do I stand with this when I legally own the piece of land (parking space) they're parking on?

Our Response:
Do you have a management company etc which oversees the flats? They may be able to help. It's unlikley the police will do much as it's a trespass issue which you may have to pursue via the legal system. Have you tried place traffic/no parking cones in the space? Could you arrange for pop up lockable post to be put in place etc?
SaferMotoring - 16-Jan-18 @ 3:07 PM
My partner and I recently bought our first property together. The property is a flat but came with a parking space which, is highlighted by our land registry certificate as being ours. The parking space is one of two, ours being 1b and the other 1a. A silver car keeps parking on which ever of those spaces is free and the car does not belong to either myself or our lovely neighbours flat 1a. I've left a polite note but they continue to park on it meaning that, we are having to share one parking space with flat 1a despite both properties legally owning one space each. Where do I stand with this when I legally own the piece of land (parking space) they're parking on?
Al - 14-Jan-18 @ 12:41 AM
TOFFI - Your Question:
Hello I have a neighbour who parks on the opposite side of the road opposite my drive. As the road is so narrow this means I struggle to get on and off my drive and has also blocked the bus which goes past my house on route. Is there anything I can do?

Our Response:
There's not much you can do about the struggle to exit your drive, but if a bus is unable to pass, the police will be able to take action.
SaferMotoring - 12-Jan-18 @ 3:11 PM
Hello I have a neighbour who parks on the opposite side of the road opposite my drive. As the road is so narrow this means I struggle to get on and off my drive and has also blocked the bus which goes past my house on route... Is there anything I can do?
TOFFI - 10-Jan-18 @ 8:19 PM
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