Parking Near Private Driveway: What is the Law?

Parking Near Private Driveway: What is the Law?

Q.

I would like to know if there is a legal limit to how close you can park next to a driveway? I have issues with my neighbours parking partially over and completely blocking my driveway, which restricts exit and entrance. I also have a tree to contend with and a busy road. I have come to the end of my tether but don't want to upset anyone (unlike my neighbours!)

A.

Parking over and blocking a driveway belonging to someone else is one of the most common reasons that people end up falling out with their neighbours. It's rude, discourteous and can cause a whole lot of problems, especially if access to the driveway is completely blocked in either direction.

When faced with this situation, many homeowners try to fight fire with fire and come out brandishing a copy of the Highway Code which in paragraph 243 requests that motorists "DO NOT PARK in front of an entrance to a property".

However, if they take things further and report the offender to the police - it often comes as a big surprise to find out that it isn't actually illegal for a motorist to park in front of a private driveway, despite what you think the Highway Code is saying. The important thing to pay attention to is the language used in the rulings. If 'Do not' is used, then this is advisory and should be followed - but there is no legal comeback if a motorist chooses to ignore it. However, if the rule states 'Must not' then this is a legal requirement and the driver must therefore obey it or if caught or reported, face legal action.

So, ultimately, this is down to a question of courtesy and respect between you and your neighbours. If you do suffer from a repeat offender who insists on blocking your driveway then do be careful. As you are not backed up by law, the best thing you can do is to approach them calmly and try to sort out the situation amicably. If they aren't interested, or continue to ignore you and park in front of your property, blocking your access, then unfortunately the only thing you can do to ensure that you have full access to your drive is to park somewhere else - perhaps, if you're a fan of irony and you can get there first, even in front of your own driveway. If you do this often enough they'll probably get bored and give up.

It does seem incredibly unfair that someone can do this when you have forked out for a home with somewhere safe to park your car off the road - and if you are blocked ONTO your drive, then you might find a kind police officer who will make enquiries for you, contact the owner and ask them to move their vehicle. However the police are not bound to act as according to the Highway Code every driver has a right to park anywhere on a public highway except those places which are expressly forbidden.


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 first published July 2009.