Even experienced drivers could be caught out by some of the UK’s strangest parking laws – and potentially receive a ticket as a result.
“We’d expect the majority of motorists to know not to park on double yellow lines or in disabled bays without a Blue Badge,” said Tim Alcock, head of online marketing at LeaseCar. “But it’s likely that fewer drivers know that allowing your parked car to build up dirt could leave you open to prosecution, as having an unreadable number plate is illegal.
“Similarly, The Highway Code says that you can’t park anywhere that may restrict access for emergency services, such as leaving a residential road too narrow for a fire engine.”
11 unusual parking laws
Here are 11 UK parking rules that you might be unaware of. And if you do receive a parking ticket that you think is unfair, read our guide on how to appeal.
1. Using the horn while a car is stationary is against the law. This includes when the vehicle is parked.
2. Parking in a cycle lane, or on zig-zags at a pedestrian crossing or outside a school, isn’t permitted.
3. Parking to load or unload on double yellow lines is only permitted if the load is of sufficient volume, weight or difficulty.
4. You cannot park anywhere that may restrict access for the emergency services.
5. A vehicle must display parking lights when parked on a road or a lay-by on a road with a speed limit greater than 30mph.
6. Parking more than 50cm away from the kerb could lead to an on-the-spot fine.
7. A car is not considered ‘in’ a designated parking space if the wheels are over any lines. A driver risks a parking ticket.
8. Parking on a dropped kerb could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).
9. Using cones, bins or other obstacles to reserve a parking space is not permitted. It could be interpreted as causing an obstruction, leading to a fine.
10. The engine should be switched off if a vehicle is left for an extended period on a public road.
11. Allowing a parked car to get dirty could result in a fine if the number plate isn’t clean.