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Is it illegal to park in someone else’s driveway?
There are few things worse than coming home from somewhere only to find that an uninvited vehicle has parked in your driveway. The first thing you may consider might be to block them in, but try and resist that temptation if you can – it may only serve to escalate the situation. The second temptation might involve trying to find a way to somehow remove it yourself – but that comes with its own risks, both physically and legally.
Alright then, you’re probably thinking, so what can I do? Well, the best course of action varies from case to case, so before you do anything it’s best to make sure you’re all up to speed on all the relevant laws and official advice.
With decades of experience behind us here at Bollard Security, we’re pretty clued up on this type of thing, so this week we’ve broken down what you should and shouldn’t do in the event that you find yourself in this situation.
Is it illegal for someone else to park in your driveway?
Surprisingly, no it isn’t. Well, technically speaking it isn’t a criminal offence, but it could be considered trespassing, providing your driveway is on your property. Since trespassing is a civil offence and not a criminal offence, the police don’t have the power to arrest the owner of the car in question.
At one time the police were responsible for parking enforcement, but since the Road Traffic Act of 1991, the responsibility now falls on your local authorities. There is an exception to this rule if the offence is committed on public highways, or if the car parked is blocking your driveway on a public road. In these cases, the council has the grounds to act. Unfortunately though, if the car is on a drive, it’s considered private property and they cannot remove it.
What to do if someone parks on your driveway
Since it’s not a criminal offence, and getting the council to move the car comes with its own set of stipulations, it’s easy to just want to sort the problem yourself. There are a variety of ways you could approach this, but realistically some are only worth considering if it’s the same vehicles (and drivers) each time.
In most cases people don’t usually make a habit of parking on others’ drives, so you may find they’re more amenable than you may have thought to a simple request not to.
However, if you find this is the case for you. Here’s what you to do:
- Wait – however irritating it might be, generally the best thing to do is to simply wait for the driver to remove it themselves. Most of the time it’s not an act that will be borne out of malice – it’s probably just the most convenient option for them.
- A polite request – Before jumping to any unnecessary conclusions, our first advice would be to try asking them politely to move their vehicle, and not do it again. If you choose to engage them in conversation about it, you may even find them to be contrite and apologetic. Just bear in mind that if you go the other way and stride out of your front door on the attack, they’re likely to get defensive (even if they wouldn’t have otherwise done), and the interaction can only get more unpleasant from there. (Always keep your cool!) If you can’t speak to them directly, why not try leaving a note on their windscreen? It could just be a simple misunderstanding.
- Take legal action – This is something you may want to consider if you’re dealing with unwanted parking as a recurrent issue, or if a car has been seemingly abandoned on your driveway. You can pursue a civil case and then the courts will have to move the unwanted car off your property. Another legal avenue worth looking into is to pursue a legal claim for nuisance behaviour, on the ground that it’s preventing you from enjoying your property. Do bear in mind though, that small claims court can get pretty expensive and the process can be quite laborious.
- Get in touch with your local council – As we mentioned above, you can get in touch with your local council and ask them to remove the car from your driveway, or for any advice. This is also another useful avenue if you think the vehicle may be abandoned.
What not to do if someone parks on your driveway
While it’s technically an option, hiring a private tow truck isn’t the safest route to take, legally speaking, because it opens you up to potential charges and criminal offences.
For example, if you hire a private tow-truck and tow the car away, you may be liable for any damages caused. If you are going to do this, then it’s absolutely essential to seek legal advice prior so you don’t get stuck with a civil action of your own.
If the car parked dangerously in your driveway is leaking petrol, or contains any harmful items such as gas bottles, call 999 and report it straight away.
How to stop people parking in your driveway
Here at Bollard Security, we know that prevention is always better than cure – and our security bollards and parking posts provide the perfect deterrent for uninvited visitors looking to park on your driveway. We have a variety of residential bollards to choose from, all suiting different purposes. Also, providing you’re placing the bollards on your own property, you don’t need any planning permission.
We recommend our KTP3P Heavy Duty Telescopic Bollard to keep your driveway clear. This telescopic bollard is one of our most popular residential bollards, because it’s affordable, as well as easy to install and use.
Ultimately, the choice is yours! But, if you’re looking for extra reassurance and peace of mind that your driveway will be empty when you return home, we absolutely recommend having a browse our products such as telescopic bollards here on our site, and if you have any questions or queries, please get in touch with our in-house experts on 01535 509001 and we’ll be happy to assist you!