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Understanding Parking Rules

Parking rules can vary greatly from place to place. This is because the council for that area determines what is and isn't a parking violation and this can lead to different rules for different areas.

For this reason, you should never assume that because you can park in a particular situation in one town, that you can do so in another.

Always make sure that what you are doing is allowed by law - you can usually do this by looking at lamp or parking posts in the area that have supplementary plates attached to them, outlining parking restrictions.

One thing that is consistent wherever you are in the country is that when parking, you should never stop anywhere where your vehicle will cause an obstruction or a danger to other road users or pedestrians. That means no double parking, parking on bends or pedestrian areas or zig-zag lines.


Want to Avoid a Parking Ticket?

  • Don't assume that there is free parking on Bank Holidays or Sundays.
  • Don't park in permit holders only pays during restricted times.
  • Don't assume that it's safe to park somewhere just because someone else has.
  • If you're not sure, don't park somewhere just because someone else says it's ok.
  • Don't wander off to look for the meter or a ticket machine. If you're ticketed or clamped while you're looking for somewhere to pay, you'll have to pay up.
  • Don't think that because you've bought the ticket, it means you're safe. Make sure the ticket can be seen by the parking inspectors.
  • Don't park at suspended parking meters (usually identifiable by a bag tied over the top of them)

Always follow the golden rule: if in doubt - ask a traffic warden or parking attendant. If you can't find one, assume the answer is 'No'.

Cycle Lanes

Do not park in cycle lanes unless you are sure that parking is allowed. Make sure that you are not obstructing access to or from a cycle lane. Allow space for rejoining the main carriageway especially where there are islands at the end of a lane.


Bus Stops and Bus Lanes

Never park in a bus stop or bus lane during the signed times. In bus lanes, especially in London and big cities, you may be caught by camera and be sent a parking ticket in the post.


Permit Holders

During the restricted times you cannot park in a permit holder's bay without a permit. You must find a parking meter and park in the appropriate bay if you wish to leave your vehicle in the area.


Paying to Park

When you have found a place to park, you must find out whether or not it is pre pay or pay on exit. If you don't find out, then you are liable for any charges that you incur.


Disabled Parking Spaces

You should not park in a space reserved for a disabled person, unless you have the relevant badge and display it so it is visible through the windscreen to parking inspectors and traffic wardens. There are usually allowances made for those holding disabled status on a yellow line restriction as long as their badge and time clock are displayed correctly and the vehicle is not causing an obstruction. This is a decision made by the council though, so you should not assume that it is automatically allowed - find out for certain first by visiting the council website or give them a ring.



There are always problems parking around schools. By parking illegally, you compromise road safety for all pedestrians and motorists and risk getting a ticket, so park a bit further away if you have to, and walk to the school to pick up your child.



Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated March 2016.