Is it illegal to park in front of a driveway? It might not be but it’s certainly inconsiderate to the owner of the house, it can be dangerous and it’s restrictive for pedestrians, wheelchair users and even access for emergency services. But is it an offence to block a driveway?
Is it illegal to park in front of a driveway with a dropped kerb?
It is an offence to park across a driveway with a dropped kerb. Highway Code Rule 243 states that drivers should not stop or park “where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles” or “in front of an entrance to a property”. It is an offence to park across even a small part of the drive. If there’s a parking space in front of your house, it shouldn’t be overhanging the drive.
What is the penalty for blocking someone’s driveway?
It depends where you live. But drivers who even partially block your private driveway could be ticketed. That means they could receive the relevant fine – just as if they’d parked on double yellow lines. But, unfortunately for the property owner, parking in front of a driveway on a public road isn’t viewed as seriously as parking on zig-zag lines near a pedestrian crossing. Nor is it regarded as an instant ticket like parking on yellow line inside enforcement hours or other parking restrictions.
What can you do if someone blocks your drive?
Bearing in mind parking a across a driveway is illegal, there are plenty of things you can do to stop it happening. First thing is to check if it’s your council or the police that look after parking for your area. Then inform the relevant authority about the problem. They will generally only act if the owner of the driveway is the one making the call.
If you make enough noise about it, they will deploy an attendant; they might even put up some signs for you. Alternatively, you could put up your own sign saying access is required 24/7. If you get really desperate, you might want to put up a CCTV camera and sign covering your entrance which may act as a sensible deterrent.
What can I do if a car is blocking my driveway?
The council’s lack of action might be severely frustrating. Afterall, local authorities aren’t famous for being highly reactive. In which case, you might want to call the police. If the car that’s blocking your driveway is taxed and insured, it can’t be classed as an abandoned vehicle. As such the police won’t tow it away.
Equally, if the vehicle is partially blocking your driveway but you can still get in and out, then it’s not causing an obstruction. Again, there’s not much the police can do about it.
What about partially blocking a driveway?
Parking next to a drop kerb is not illegal. That’s even if it makes getting into your driveway impossible. For example, cars parked opposite your entrance might make it awkward to access a driveway. Or someone might park a vehicle right up against the dropped kerb, again making access difficult. Unfortunately, if this is the case, there’s not much you can do about it.
What if a vehicle is abandoned in front of your drive?
Should the vehicle stay for a month or more, the police might remove it as it’s not unreasonable to assume the owner has abandoned it.
Is parking across your own drive illegal?
When it comes to parking on the road, even if it’s a dropped kerb in front of your house and you paid to put it in, parking across your own driveway is an offence. That is because it contravenes Highway Code 243. The law is mainly to make disabled access easier.
However, unless someone complains about it, the council or police are unlikely to do anything about it. But then again, if the local authority is having some kind of bad parking clampdown, you might…
Can I move a car that’s blocking my driveway?
Although it’s frustrating when someone blocks your driveway, London’s Metropolitan Police advises caution. It says: “Do not take the law into your own hands by intervening, such as making physical threats or attempting to move the vehicle yourself.”
Instead, it suggests you follow a process that should solve the problem without resorting to legal action. First put a note on the offending vehicle so you can be sure they know their behaviour is causing a problem. If they continue to block your drive, contact the local council. They will be able to move the car, although they might take some time.
The Met says cars parked in front of dropped kerbs are a matter for the council rather than law enforcement.
What if someone parks on my driveway?
Your drive is deemed part of your private property. So if someone parks on your driveway uninvited, they’re officially trespassing. But importantly, they’re not breaking the law. Trespass is a civil matter and not a criminal offence.
The first thing to do is talk to the car’s driver. They might not be aware that it’s your drive. If they don’t pick it up and the vehicle stays there for days on end, contact the local council. They will be able to remove the vehicle if you believe it’s been abandoned. But they will need to give 15-days’ notice. And of course, by then, the owner may have come back and moved it of their own accord.
I’ve been writing about cars and motoring for more than 25 years. My career started on a long-departed classic car weekly magazine called AutoClassic. I’ve since pitched up at Autosport, Auto Express, the News of the World, Sunday Times and most recently the Daily Telegraph. When I’m not writing about cars and motoring, I’m probably doing some kind of sport or working in my garden.