As a trader, you probably use a van on a regular basis to make sure you can move equipment and materials to customers’ homes so to you, of course, your van is your livelihood. At the end of your busy working day, you want to park your van at home, however - is this legal?
The good news is that, in most cases, you can park your van as you would park a car. You just need to make sure you park legally, don’t block traffic and don’t cause a danger to pedestrians or other road users.
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 roadside, facing the direction of traffic, as long as 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.
We’ve looked at what you’ll also need to consider before parking your van at home – including rules for parking at night.
Parking vans in residential areas can cause problems with neighbours, even when you’re not legally doing anything wrong. To avoid disputes, try not to park where your van could block light getting into people’s homes, or where you might restrict their view when they’re pulling in and out of their driveway.
If you keep your work van at your own home, tell your insurer and check you’re covered, especially if it’s a company van it’s worth checking in advance to avoid pain later and ensure there are no company van tax issues.
Make sure you’re aware of any parking restrictions on your street. Not parking on yellow lines is obvious, but if you’re in a controlled parking area, make sure you know the times when the lines are active. Also, be aware of any permit parking area or reserved bays. Be aware that some permit parking might only be for cars, or could only apply if you’re the registered owner of the van.
Different rules for parking at night
If the speed limit of the road is more than 30mph, you must have your parking lights on at all times but if your vehicle is a larger van, with a maximum loaded weight of more than 2.5 tonnes (eg a Ford Transit), you have to display parking lights if you leave it on any road overnight, regardless of the speed limit.
- Vehicles not exceeding 1525 kg unladen weight may be parked without lights on a road (or lay-by) with a speed limit of 30 mph or less if they are
at least 10 metres (32 feet) away from any junction, close to the kerb and facing in the direction of the traffic flow
- in a recognised parking place or lay-by.
All vehicles should be parked with their nearside close to and parallel with the nearside kerb.
VEHICLES WITH A COMBINED WEIGHT OF OVER 7.5 TONNES
You’re unlikely to have a business van with a maximum laden weight of over 7.5 tonnes, as this is truck territory, but in case you do, the law says these vehicles must not be parked on a verge, pavement, or any land situated between carriageways, without police permission. The only exception to this parking rule is when parking is essential for loading and unloading, but even then the vehicle shouldn’t be left unattended.
pARKING ON A DRIVEWAY OR IN A GARAGE
You shouldn’t have to abide by any of the above if you park your business van on a driveway or in a garage. Even if you’re using your own driveway, your home could have a clause in the deeds to prevent you from parking a van there. Although this is rare, it's definitely worth checking for.
Will you need planning permission?
Maybe, local councils are getting tired of receiving complaints about commercial vehicles parked in the gardens and driveways of private houses. To counter this, many are now saying ‘this is going against the enjoyment of the property’. As such they consider it a material change of use and as thus you will need to apply for permission.
Factors taken into account by local councils include:
- The size, design and number of commercial vehicles at a property
- Your van’s position and proximity to adjoining properties
- Its effect on the appearance of the local area
- The times your van arrives at your property and departs
We’d advise checking with your local council first to avoid problems later – particularly with residents and neighbours.