What are the parking rules for using EV bays on council-owned and private land?

parking rules for ev charging

Ever-more drivers are using electric vehicles (EV) meaning there are an increasing number of charging points which require their own parking bays. Our reader wants to know what the rules and regulations are on council-owned and private land.

Can you be fined for parking an ICE car in an EV bay?

If you park an internal combustion engine car (ICE) in a bay that’s designated for EVs, you can be fined. It’s similar to parking in a disabled bay when you don’t have the necessary badge or permission.

It doesn’t matter whether the land is owned by a local authority or privately owned – perhaps by a supermarket or hospital – the rules are the same.

What if the EV bay is in a restricted parking zone?

It depends on the rules set out by the local authority. Some local authorities let EV owners who don’t have parking permits to park in EV bays to charge their cars. Some even let EV owners park for free as long as they’re charging. But in most cases, EV owners will need to get a pay and display ticket.

Also, to park in an EV charging bay, the car must be charging. You can’t just park your EV in the charging bays because it’s an EV, if you’re not charging it. That means often when you’ve finished charging, you should move to another pay and display bay so that other EV owners can charge.

parking rules for ev charging
Depending on the sign posts you can be fined for parking an ICE car in an EV charging slot

What are the fixed penalties and who can enforce them?

Electric vehicle charging bays are owned by whoever is responsible for running them. That means they should be subject to the rules that govern parking. It also means that what you’ll pay in a fine depends on where you are in the country.

In London, that can be as much as £130. In other parts of the UK the fine might be £70. However much the penalty is, there is usually a 50% discount for paying early.

The fines are enforced by whoever either owns the land or is responsible for parking on them. If it’s private land, there’s probably a company that enforces parking for the land owner. They will administer any fine. In the case of local authority-owned land, it’ll be the local authority who sends any penalty.

What signage must be displayed?

As with any parking, signs for the rules around EV bays must clearly set out what the terms and hours of operation are. They must also make it clear that the parking bay is for EVs only.

For parking on private land, the signage must also set out what the terms and conditions are because when you park there you are essentially entering into a contract with the land owner. The content of those signs depends on the code of practice of the Accredited Trade Association that the car park’s owner belongs to.

The bottom line is that parking bays should show clearly where parking is restricted to EVs only, both with sign posts and markings on the road that set out where the EV-only bays are.

If you think you’ve been incorrectly penalised for parking, find out how to appeal here.

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