Is it legal for a driving instructor to teach reverse parking across a drive?

reverse parking

Our reader has a local driving instructor who teaches reverse parking across a drive parallel to the kerb in front of their house. They claim this is inconvenient because sometimes it briefly blocks the drive. And if they’re at home, they must put up with the noise of learners slipping the clutch outside their house.

Is reverse parking illegal across a drive?

Assuming there are no markings on the road or signs that make parking illegal, it is perfectly legal to teach parking across someone’s drive. The space on the road in front of your house doesn’t belong to you. Responsibility for it is with the local authority.

This is assuming they don’t stop

One thing it’s worth remembering is that if you have a dropped kerb in front of your drive, it is illegal to park in front of it. You can be ticketed even if you park slightly across the entrance. But someone can still park perfectly legally in a way that makes access difficult.

In this case, we’re presuming that the parking manoeuvre simply makes up part of the driving lesson. We’re also presuming that the instructor doesn’t stop in front of your drive. If they did, then you would have grounds for complaint. But if they only do so for a couple of minutes, perhaps while explaining something to their pupil, it’s difficult to prove they’re infringing any bylaws.

What can you do?

This is a tricky one. The law isn’t on your side because the driving instructor probably hasn’t infringed it in any way. However, they are behaving in a way that is slightly inconsiderate.

Of course they have to teach people to drive somewhere. And if they aren’t doing it in front of your drive, they’ll probably have to do it in front of someone else’s. They’ve plainly chosen your drive because on their favoured instructing route, it’s the most convenient.

We suggest you go and have a chat with them. Chances are they’re completely unaware that their actions are causing anyone distress.

reverse parking across a drive
We’ve all got to learn to drive somewhere and quiet residential streets are perfect for many instructors

Perhaps ask if they can limit their activity to times when you know you’re going to be out and not using the drive. Or when you know you’re going to be in and don’t mind a bit of noise outside.

What you do if they tell you where to get off is something else! If they are part of a large driving school, you could try talking to their boss. Whatever happens, we’d suggest you’re polite and smile at all times. You probably won’t get anywhere by being aggressive.

After you’ve spoken to them, just get on with your life. You will have made your point to them and every time they teach parking in front of your drive, they’ll now be aware someone’s not happy about it.

We think that will probably be sufficient for them to either limit the amount of time they use your drive for or move elsewhere. And if it isn’t, well, there are worse things in life…

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