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How Close Can you Legally Park Next to Another Car?


How Close Can you Legally Park Next to Another Car?


I work in a nursery where on both sides there are houses, the road is a public road on one side is double yellow lines and the other has nothing, just public. The problem I is I park early in a morning (7.20am) and leave around 4pm. There is a resident who always parks 1 inch from my car, which on a number of occassions I have had to pull forward and reverse a number of times to squeeze out of the space I have parked.

I know that the resident isn't happy about the parking (as the whole street isn't happy) and I plan to change my parking space. I am not obstructing any driveways or even access to their homes and I don't park on the pavement. the resident also pulls extremely close to my car although there is space for another 2 cars infront of theirs.

I can understand that this can be frustrating, but the road is public and there is no marked spaces or a permit system in place.

Is there a law on how close you can park to another car?


Parking can be a real problem around workplaces, and there's nothing worse than spending the day trying to get on with your work while worrying about your car - whether you're getting a ticket or whether you're parked in the right place.

If the road is a public road with no road markings, lines or signage to signify that you are not allowed to park there, then it would seem that you are perfectly within your rights to do so. Although it may be frustrating to the residents that live along that road, if you are parking properly and not causing an obstruction, then there isn't actually a great deal that they can do about it, other than try to intimidate you into parking in a different spot.

The Highway code stipulates that anyone parking on-street should always be facing the direction the road travels rather than against the flow of traffic, and that if they are parking within 30 ft of a junction, then there should be lights on at night to indicate their presence to other motorists.


As there are no parking bays and you are parking on a public road, there is no minimum requirement that details how far away you need to park. It's more of a 'common sense' approach than a legal requirement, but it is expected that drivers will offer other motorists the courtesy of having enough space to safely manoeuvre out of a parking space or place - and the advice given is usually along the lines of 'tyres and tarmac' (i.e. you should be able to see all the tyres and the road beneath the car parked in front of you.). Still, if there are a lot of people parking on a small stretch of road, then parking distances are likely to be shorter, so that more people can squeeze in.

Unfortunately, in the same way that the residents don't have any right to dictate where you park along the public stretch of road, then neither do you. You could call the police and report the car as an obstruction if you are unable to get out of the space and onto the road, but that isn't likely to improve relations between you and the resident in question. In this case, you may be better off trying to find somewhere else to park, or just make up your mind to grin and bear it!!


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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 April 2022