Updated: 8th October 2021
Is it legal to park your van outside your house?
Parking outside your home is essential for busy traders. It is likely that you use a van to transport equipment and materials to your customers. After working a long day, you want to park your van at home, but is this legal?
It is likely that you will also feel concerned about parking your commercial vehicle outside another person's home. Take the example of a trader visiting customers' properties on a regular basis. In that case, it is important to know whether you can legally park your van in a residential area. Make sure you pay attention to road signs explaining parking permits and other regulations and ask your customers about commercial parking in their area. In general, there are likely to be no differences between parking your commercial vehicle outside your home and outside your customer's home.
The good news is that, in most cases, parking regulations do not prohibit commercial vehicles from parking in residential areas. Vans can be parked along public roads in the same manner as cars. Parking legally, not blocking traffic, and not causing a road hazard are some things you need to remember. Parking the van partially on the pavement in order not to block the road may seem like a good idea, but it leaves very little room for pedestrians. Parents with prams and mobility scooters are especially at risk because they are forced onto the road. It is also not a good idea to park over a dropped curb - these are designed to make crossing the road easier for mobility scooters and prams/pushchairs.
The Highway Code says vehicles can park:
- in off-street parking areas
- in parking bays on the road marked out with white lines
- on the side of the road facing the direction of traffic if no restrictions apply on that road
But the rules say you must not:
- park or wait on double yellow lines at any time
- park or wait on single yellow lines during the times shown on any signs
- park or wait on school entrance markings or anywhere with signs that say you can’t (eg red routes)
- park or stop on a pedestrian crossing, including the area marked by the zigzag lines
- park in spaces reserved for specific users, such as Blue Badge holders, residents or motorcycles (unless you’re entitled to)
- leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous place or where it blocks the road
- park on the pavement in London, and you shouldn’t do this elsewhere unless signs permit it
- park in areas such as taxi bays and cycle lanes.
What you’ll also need to consider before parking your van outside your house– including rules for parking at night
Even when you're not breaking any laws, parking a van in a residential area can lead to problems with neighbours. Your neighbours may be complaining about you blocking their view or natural light, for example. Even though they do not have a legal right to this, you should avoid the conflict if you can. Don't park where you may obstruct your neighbour's view when they are pulling into or out of their driveway. We suggest that you talk with your neighbour about the situation and come up with a solution that works for both of you without escalating it.
Imagine you keep your work van at home for extended periods or overnight on a regular basis. If that is the case, you will need to check with your insurer to see if it is covered. If it's a company van, it's best to check in advance to avoid any tax issues later on.
Make sure you are familiar with any parking restrictions in your neighbourhood. You should not park on yellow lines. Be sure you know what times the lines will be active if you are in a controlled area. You should also be aware of any parking permit areas. Some local councils may apply parking restrictions only to specific types of vehicles. Depending on where the permit parking is, you might only be able to park with it if you are registered at the address where the permit is issued or if you are the registered owner.
Check the parking status of your location with your local authority.
Different rules for parking at night
Imagine a road that has a speed limit exceeding 30 mph. In that case, you must always have your parking lights on.
In the case of any larger vehicle with a maximum loaded weight greater than 2.5 tonnes (for example, a Ford Transit), parking lights are required if it is left on the road overnight regardless of the speed limit.
Vehicles weighing up to 1525 kg unladen may be parked without lights on a road (or lay-by) with a speed limit of 30 mph or less. In a recognised parking place or lay-by, they must be at least 10 metres (32 feet) away from any junction, close to the curb and facing in the direction of the traffic flow.
In order to park properly, vehicles should have their nearside parallel with the curb of the nearside.
VEHICLES WITH A COMBINED WEIGHT OF OVER 7.5 TONNES
It is unlikely that your business van weighs more than 7.5 tons laden. If it does, then the law states you can't park on verges, pavements, or any land between carriageways without permission from the police. Loading and unloading are the only exceptions to this parking rule. Regardless, the vehicle must never be unattended.
pARKING ON A DRIVEWAY OR IN A GARAGE
In the event that you park your business van on your driveway or in your garage, the rules and restrictions do not apply to you. It is rare to have a clause in the deeds preventing you from parking there, but it is worth checking for extra peace of mind.
SOME COUNCILS EVEN REQUIRE A PLANNING PERMISSION
The local councils are getting tired of complaints about commercial vehicles parked in the gardens and driveways of private homes. Some are now claiming that it prevents people from enjoying the property consider it a material change in use, for which permission must be applied.
Factors taken into account by local councils include:
- The size, design and number of commercial vehicles at a property
- Your van’s position and distance to other properties
- Its effect on the appearance of the local area
- The times your van arrives at your property and leaves
We recommend checking with your local council first to avoid problems later - particularly with other residents. When parking your commercial van, it's very important to know what you can and cannot do.
The above information presents the general rules for van parking in the UK and should only be used as a guide. There may be special rules in your area, so it's worth checking with your local council. Additionally, we are not able to enforce parking laws or assist with van parking issues, but... we are more than happy to help you find a shiny new van that your neighbours might prefer to see parked in their streets!
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