Many conflicts between neighbours arise as the result of disputes over parked cars. Of course, if you have a separate driveway then there isn’t a problem, as long as you actually park on it, but issues do arise when people park their cars on the road upon which they live.
Having off street parking not only increases the value of a property but it also reduce the risk of neighbour arguments over where to park the car. In some residential areas, often London, parking permits are charged at a premium rate and don't always resolve the parking problems, as residents think they have a right to park in front of their house since they have paid for a permit.
The Highway Code is there to explain and guide you through the rules and regulations set out in myriad pieces of traffic and road legislation.For example:
Drivers should all be aware that you cannot park or wait on double yellow lines at any time.
You must not wait or park on single yellow lines at the times stated on corresponding signs.
You must not wait, stop, or park on school entrance markings.
Unless you are entitled to, you must not park in disabled parking spaces or resident parking spaces.
You must also not park in front of the entrance to a property.
There are many more rules which you should read and be aware of before taking any action, you can find the full list at www.gov.uk
Many parking disputes arise over the failure to observe parking ‘etiquette’ on the street where you live. But etiquette and the law are two totally different issues, so let’s take a look at both.
What The Law Says
As long as your vehicle is taxed and you are not contravening any other traffic laws, you are allowed to park anywhere on a public highway (but not on footpaths/pavements) where it is legal to do so.
Parking Outside Your Own House
Etiquette, good manners and common sense are the main ingredients in avoiding parking disputes with your neighbours. Most people would choose to park outside their own home anyway because of the convenience, but what if you have more than one vehicle belonging to a single property and there are no driveways or you have a driveway but there is only enough room for one car?
No Automatic Right to Park Outside Your Home
Basically, it’s an unwritten ‘rule’ that people will generally tend to park outside their own home but it’s important to note that no one has an automatic right to do so. It’s not always possible and, in addition to residents, other road users also have the right to park outside your home providing they are not contravening the Highway Code.
To resolve this issue, the only thing you can do is to try to have a friendly word with your neighbour and explain to them why you’d prefer to park in front of your own house. You may find that they didn’t realise it bothered you and often simple courtesy and communicating your issue with your neighbour will resolve the problem.
If you share a driveway with your next door neighbour and a parking dispute occurs because of lack of space or one person’s vehicle is taking up more space, you can resolve this by checking your house deeds to find out where the boundaries lie.
Accessibility and Upkeep of a Shared Driveway
It’s courteous to share responsibilities for the accessibility and tidiness of a shared driveway. If you have children, make sure you keep any toys off the other person's part of the shared driveway. If your next door neighbour simply decides they’ve had enough and drives straight in and ‘accidentally’ runs over a children’s toy, you’ve no legal redress – it’s your neighbour’s part of the driveway and your responsibility to keep things that belong to you, on your side.
The Big Issue – Parking Directly In Front Of A Person’s Driveway
This is, by far, the single most frequent cause of annoyance and arguments between neighbours. Unfortunately though, the law does not help in this regard. It's common courtesy not to park directly in front of the driveway of another person’s property. After all, they may need to get in or out of the driveway with their vehicle. If you’ve blocked the access by parking directly in front of it, this will cause the vast majority, if not everybody, to become annoyed and to try to locate the owner of the vehicle to get them to move it. Therefore, most neighbourly people will never park directly in front of someone’s driveway.
What is the Relevant Law on Blocking Someone's Driveway?
The Highway Code, paragraph 207, asks that people DO NOT park their vehicle where it might cause an obstruction to other pedestrians or road users, and cites the example of not parking in front of another person’s driveway.
In essence, while there are certain rules and regulations under the Highway Code relating to parking on public highways, mostly it’s a matter of common decency and courtesy. Speaking calmly to neighbours and explaining reasons why you might need to park here or there, if practical, will usually result in you getting what you want. Just remember, however, that unless they are breaking the law, people are entitled to park anywhere they want to on a public highway providing they aren’t in breach of the Highway Code. If things get really bad, you could try and get a third party involved to mediate...take a look at our feature When Mediation Can Help Neighbour disputes for more information and advice.
Dropped Kerbs: The Traffic Management Act 2004
If you have a dropped kerb at the end of your driveway (which in most local authorities - planning laws say that you should), the Traffic Management Act 2004 might help you. This act covers restrictions on parking where a kerb has been dropped for a number of reasons including for the purpose of "assisting vehicles entering or leaving the carriageway across the footway, cycle track or verge". There are exceptions to this including:
Where the vehicle is parked outside residential premises "by or with the consent (but not consent given for reward) of the occupier of the premises" but this exception does not apply in the case of a shared driveway
When a vehicle is being used for the purposes of delivering goods/unloading etc at the premises (has to be 'reasonable' and for no longer than 20 minutes)
Vehicles undertaking any building, signing, utilities or sewer works or collecting waste on behalf of local authority, removing a traffic obstruction
If you think you could have a case under this piece of legislation, first try to find and speak to the vehicle owner. In a friendly and polite manner, tell them about the act and that you'd like to get your vehicle out. If they refuse, call the police on 101 - not 999 (it's more than likely NOT an emergency and if it is, the vehicle owner will probably cooperate with you anyhow). Tell them about the problem, how long the vehicle has been there and that you need to get your car out. If they say there's nothing they can do, ask them about the Traffic Management act of 2004 (referring to dropped kerbs) and what they normal steps are. They should be able to help you to take the right steps even if they won't do anything themselves immediately.
Hi i live on a very busy A road.The only parking is a layby with upto 7 spaces but my neighbour takes up 3 of them but only uses 1 of his vehicles.We or all private renters or home owners.Is there anything we can legally do to stop this?
Jackie - 30-Nov-23 @ 4:39 PM
I live at the bottom of a street with only one access at the top. A neighbour on a diagonal across from me parks in front of his home as does my neighbour next to me. I either ask next door to let me out or the one opposite to let me in. Neighbour next door is always accomodating while across the road has twisted on occassion until recently when he has told me he is refusing to drop his car down to allow me in. There is plenty of space for him to park on our side but he refuses to do that also. Police have mediated but nothing has changed. His excuse was 'I'm 87 you know'. The street itself is classed as unadopted land so its not the responsibility of the council. Its unfair to put the onus of letting me in and out on my next door neighbour, plus he has to reverse out of the street in a tricky manoeuvre while him acroos just has to drop down a few feet.
Ramblerlass - 28-Nov-23 @ 11:53 AM
I have bought a house with a car park at the back and each of the 4 houses is meant to park 1 vehicle each in front of their garage. Our deeds include the full length of the space and garage nearest to the houses. Next door has 2 cars and used our space when the house was empty. Next door but one has two cars and a caravan. They also use all of space 4 as its an old ladies house. They don't like us using our space. They colluded to block our removal van and we had to get the police to let us have it. They now park infront of our car so we can't get out, or park their in the middle so we can't get in or out. We have to ask permission from them to get our car out. Its like being held to ransome. Can we do anything?
Sam - 25-Nov-23 @ 11:12 AM
I have a neighbor who’s been parking his two vehicles on street purposely for the past six months. He lives in a house with a driveway that accommodates up to five vehicles; I’m having a hard time backing into my driveway, and taking a left onto Main Street.
Lindy - 20-Nov-23 @ 12:56 AM
We moved into our property 1 year ago and my neighbour had an extension done which he didn't follow the rules ,party wall act etc.We asked them not to park across the drive at any time which as a dropped kerb,because my husband as had Cancer then an heart attack so we go to the hospital a lot.But they still block us in or out,it's stressing us out so I need a solution ,he ignores us now because we told them about how breaking the rules about the extension, please what can we do.
Jules - 16-Nov-23 @ 2:11 PM
Can a neighbour tell my family and friends not to park across my drive so that their friends can ??
Jules - 13-Nov-23 @ 9:42 AM
At front of housethe flats opposite to me always park both there car at front of my gate they dnt give me parking space for my own car and its front of my house i always keep giving them calm and polite botes over there car windows they they should park properly and give me some space other wise i can hit yhere cars while parking but they dnt listen to me any time what should i do with them this very bad behaviour feom them and i dnt want to argue with them beacuse i dnt want any bad situation
Shah - 11-Nov-23 @ 10:58 PM
We live in a small road all terraced houses we have also got 3 HMO so parking is a nightmare,but what the main problem is the 3 house opposite have 11 cars most on that side have 3 due to work vans on our side nearly every one go one car but can not park because they park on our side it's not fair we are older and we try not to go out late because we now we will have nowhere to park aslo my elderly mother can't visit because she can't walk to far and we can't guarantee we can park near our house, no good saying anything to them because they say they pay there tax but so do we I'm afraid if we move it will be hard to sell due the parking
Mary - 13-Oct-23 @ 7:22 PM
My next-door Neighbour has two car and he used the 2nd one all the time for work or going put but his 1st car he left it park outside with half of it in front of my house we are a sharing parking area where I live and he leaves his 1st car there and I have a hard time parking outside my house and I have 2 autistic children and the other problem is that 1st car of his he not moved it our used it in 10 months what should I do its really hard living here with my neighbour doing that I have talked to them calm but all I got was to F off someone please help me
Timmy - 25-Sep-23 @ 7:53 PM
Hi there, how do I stand on this? I have a neighbour 3 doors away. They have 2 cars and a van. For about 3 weeks now they have decided to park right over a public footpath, practically in our front garden. It's right outside our front room window so all we see is either a van or a car.
They have never asked us if this is okay, which I thought would of been considerate. They even stare into our home when they park up. I feel so invaded by this neighbour, almost intimidated. What can I do?Oh and when I say over the pavement, I mean completely over it. No-one could walk on it. Thanks Tracy
Trix - 9-Aug-23 @ 9:06 AM
I love ona. Newbuild estate. I own 3 parking spaces as shown on my deeds. The builders advised my 3rd space is a visitors space on their plans, however it does not show this on my deeds and their solicitors have confirmed there are no provisions in the Transfer of ownership for anyone else to park in that space. The neighbours refuse to beleive me and continue to use the space. How can I manage this? The builders also sprayed a V on the space without my permission and I am hoping to get that removed
Sheep - 12-Jul-23 @ 9:15 PM
Hello, I live in a rented flat with multiple parks outside. Some of the parking spaces are directly in front of some of the downstairs flat with a lowered side walk for entry. Which suggests that those parks are for the people living in those flats. There are however other parking space but often I get home and there is none for me. I spoke to the council and they said there is nothing they can do because we should have more than enough space for everyone and they weren't willing to assign parking spaces for each flat. Noting however that some downstairs flats do have parking just at their door which would say it belongs to them. It would be really hard for someone else to park there. So some residents have peace of mind about spaces but not me. My direct neighbours leave sometimes for a week away and no one parks in their usual spot but no one seems to respect mine. I'm about to have a baby and I would find it really hard to be trying to find parking while others double and triple park. Can you please advice?
Good vibes - 11-Jul-23 @ 9:37 PM
I have a problem with my neighbours cat and mine fighting in my back garden and me in between!
she refuses to help or put anything on her fence ,
Her cat runs along top which is flat and she almost loves it!
I sent a letter to her but she ignored it,
I contacted environmental health but they are not interested.
So who can I turn to now?
I don't want to spend the hot summer indoors!
I have a cat fence already which stops mine going out.
nette - 6-Jun-23 @ 10:15 AM
My neighbour Is regularly sitting outside the communal block of flats with the engine running and it's beyond a joke in the area as it is with idiots tearing up and down the main road near my house, then they drop litter which is obviously a different matter it's very annoying when you are trying to watch your TV or get some peace and quiet some people don't give a monkeys though.
Johnny - 5-Jun-23 @ 7:03 PM
I have a query with regards to a communal cark park
I am trying to find out if a neighbour would need planning permission to put bollards up which is restricting other people that own their own homes and use the car park from turning and parking
He has put bollards up which is causing problems from us using the car park and turning and also when we have visitors / workmen to our homes
Ann - 15-May-23 @ 2:04 PM
Neighbours commercial vehicle is parked on his driveway I can't see to get off my drive I was nearly taken out by a delivery van .
I'm in my middle 70s police said he can't park anywhere else but he's blocking my exiting view what can I do?
Mono - 13-May-23 @ 9:00 PM
My neighbour constantly hounds all other residents if we park outside his flat as he always wants to park there. I pay for parking anywhere locally as it's a city centre street.
Iwork nights and have told him repeatedly not to wake me up but he always ignores me. I and my neighbours are getting fed up with his moaning about his car needs to be outside his flat because he can get his camera on it.
What can I do to stop him harassing us whenever Ihave no choice but to park outside his flat. I always try not too so as to avoid conflict but I and my neighbours can't always do so.
Any advice appreciated
Rich - 18-Apr-23 @ 3:38 PM
My neighbour has blocked me in with 2 cars, 1 in the front and back and I can’t move anywhere. What can I do the police or council can’t do nothing. The mother swaps vehicles around and she ownsdisabled bay. Her daughters cant park but they could always drive into th moms bay, they misuse bays leaving soo much room to get out but block me in constantly,
Serna - 25-Mar-23 @ 1:52 PM
My neighbour has a block paved drive next to my lawn. He runs over the corner every day, even on the day I filled the ruts ready to re seed. I am going to speak to him but think I will have to put some large rockery rocks on the corner, within my boundary. Worried though that if he drives over the rocks and damages his car, I would be liable. I had also thought about posts with chain links, but expensive option. Any advice?
Shaz - 13-Mar-23 @ 8:47 PM
I have been parking on a off road communal car park for twenty years ,our new neighbours have told me that they own the car park on their deeds and that I am trespassing and will have to park on the main road ,even thow my other neighbours are allowed ,I feel I am being victimised how do I stand legally.
Jen - 4-Mar-23 @ 10:35 AM
I am trying to sell my house. My neighbour keeps four trucks and a caravan side by side on the off street parking in front of his house. The vehicles fit on his drive but they take up the whole of the front garden. They are an eyesore. He constantly works on the vehicles and it's like living next door to a breakers yard. Now, my prospective buyers are saying they love my house but aren't really looking to move next door to the trucks. What can I do?
Justasking - 3-Feb-23 @ 9:49 PM
My neighbour has blocked me in with 2 cars, 1 in the front and back and I can’t move anywhere.
What can I do the police or council can’t do nothing
Wasim Patel - 10-Jan-23 @ 11:20 PM
Hi, I have a adapted bungalow for our disabled son and it comes out at an angle so takes away some of my drive, my new neighbour has widened there drive with slabs and put 3 black bins down the middle so I can't park upto the line now I can't get my son out with his wheelchair, I can't even get my bins past my car. All she says is move your car but why should I have too. We have moved the bins but they put them back while I'm out, if I ever need a ambulance for my don we have no chance. What can I do?
Joy - 17-Oct-22 @ 9:10 PM
I live in a rented HMO with 6 flats. When I moved in there was a local arrangements amongst the current tenants over parking which I was not privy as they managed it in a whatsapp group that I was not part of. One particular tenant uses two spaces frequently one for her vehicle and the other space for visitors that can often stay for weeks at a time. Due to ill health I need help at home during the day while my husband works, home help asked to use a space so I sent a polite note stating that I will now need the use of a space for 6 hours a day from 8am and if this causes an inconvenience please let me know. Three weeks went by until I got an email from the management company stating that I am facing parking enforcement for allowing someone who does not live there to park. I explained the circumstances and that other residents have visitors parking for weeks at a time. I asked for a copy of the parking rules she told me im breaching and after a couple of days she got back to me and said there are no parking measures in place. So its clear that she had taken a biased view and sided with the complainant. I really don't know what to do as its clear its one rule for me and one rule for the other residents.
whatacarryon - 14-Oct-22 @ 6:03 PM
I have recently moved into a 4 in a block flat and so myself and my upstairs neighbour have a side by side pathway entrance to our front doors. This is classed as a communal entrance yet he has put a hinge on the main front gate to open it up and uses both paths as a driveway. The council have issued several letters advising him to move the non mot'd vehicle which he ignores! This is not nor has ever been a driveway and causes access issues!
Claz - 3-Oct-22 @ 2:03 PM
In our road there is never anywhere to park due to a guy repairing cars/vans etc from his house. He repairs them on his forecourt and on the road, he also has at least 7 cars parked on the road waiting to be repaired and they are parked there sometimes for weeks, there are two out there at the moment that have been there for months both with no tax and one with no front to it. I have checked with DVLA and they are both sorned so they should not be on the road at all. I have reported to the DVLA several times but nothing gets done. As our road has a lot of dropped kerbs there is limited parking spaces so if have work done, or a visitorthere is no where at all. Plus the road where he repairs his cars / vans is covered in oil spills.
I can’t find him registered with Companies House, and surly it’s illegal to do this from a residential house and on the highway? Fedup
Febup - 26-Aug-22 @ 12:31 PM
My neighbour reverses his car so close to mine that I can't open the boot/bonnet so that his wife who can't parallel park can get in a space. I have tried talking to them about it but this has made the situation worse. It is absolutely ridiculous and what makes it worse is that we are in a resident only street but his friends and family park outside our house.
Debkat - 18-Aug-22 @ 8:27 AM
Inconsiderate neighbours when it comes to parking in a cul-de-sac as parking is very limited due to the 4 bed sits, flats and neighbours having 4 or more cars. I’ve lived here for 30 years and it’s been a nightmare. We have had arguments with neighbours over parking as one particular neighbour likes to park outside of our back gate for DAYS just so that we can’t park outside of our own house. Also the owner of 2 houses has turned them into bedsits as didn’t need to Provide parking for renters so parking is even more limited. After 3pm you can’t get parked at all. You have to park at the bottom. What can I do? Advice please
Rach - 13-Aug-22 @ 4:06 PM
Oh ! We have a gaggle of gossiping neighbours who think driving over pedestrian dropped kerbs is their drive entrance on the cheap, it isn't. We are also commented on and sent to Coventry after buying a detached property with a drive where my husband parks on the road to have access to garage and drive for his motorbike, otherwise nextdoor with four cars, two drivers, one drive would park there ensuring my Husband would have to juggle his car & bike up the street everytime! Not a chance! People infuriate me! Yet nextdoor who has lived there 33 years ?? parks on the road leaving a space on his drive. Hilarious. At least they leave someone else alone. Not even the courtesy to speak to us first before bad mouthing. Jog on
Jules - 4-Aug-22 @ 8:59 AM
We have a driveway which was completed last yearwe had to spend a lot of time and money filling out all the paperwork to get a dropped kerb. I have had people parking over some of the dropped kerb telling me I have plenty of space to get out my driveway, when I don't. The waste people are the rented people (Sally and Simon Lloyd, Maidston, Kent) next-door who have a big leased car which takes up two spaces, she allows her Dad (who lives 5 minutes walk around the corner- he isn't disabled) to park in front of my driveway. When I complained the man said he has paid his road tax so he can park wherever he likes. I then had the two rough looking pikeys shouting and screaming at me because I dared to swear at her arrogant Dad when he parked in front of my driveway.