Nuisance parking and abandoned vehicles
Neighbours parking in your space or across your driveway, and people abandoning vehicles on the street can seem like a matter for the police. However, the first point of contact is very often your local authority.
Here you can learn more about what constitutes nuisance parking and what to do if it’s affecting you.
Common types of parking issues
An abandoned vehicle is one which has not been moved or attended to for a long time. There may be visible damage to suggest a crash or signs the vehicle has been stolen, such as:
- significantly damaged
- run-down or un-roadworthy including being rusted
- missing or suspicious number plates
- broken window, flat tyres
- has a lot of rubbish inside it
- broken or loose ignition
- broken steering column
Abandoned vehicles can cause a nuisance by obstructing roads, traffic and pedestrians. The sight of a damaged or slowly rusting car can also be an eyesore in your community, so it’s understandable you might want it to be removed.
What you can do about abandoned vehicles
If you know the vehicle owner, our first advice would be to ask them politely to move it. After all, they may not be aware they’re causing a problem.
However, do not take the law into your own hands by intervening, such as making physical threats or attempting to move the vehicle yourself. You may make the situation worse and even risk committing an offence yourself.
If you find an abandoned vehicle that doesn’t appear to be stolen, please contact your local council, who should be able to trace the vehicle’s owner and arrange for it to be removed.
If you find an abandoned vehicle that you believe could be stolen, please report a crime to us.
If a parking space is available on a public road, even if it’s directly outside your house, anyone is allowed to park in it. We appreciate this can be frustrating, especially if spaces are hard to come by on your street.
Designated parking spaces
If someone has parked in your designated parking space without your permission, our first advice is always to try and resolve the issue peacefully yourself. If you can’t find the driver to speak to them, try leaving a polite note on their windscreen.Failing this, please contact your local council as this matter doesn’t require the police. The council will attempt to trace the owner and can arrange for the vehicle to be removed if necessary.
If you lease a property with a parking space, please contact whoever is responsible for your building, such as the freeholder, council or managing agent. They should help you resolve the issue.
Someone parking on your driveway
If someone parks their vehicle on your driveway without your permission, this is trespassing. This is a civil dispute and you might want to seek advice from Citizen's Advice or a solicitor, but we would always recommend having a polite word with the driver first. There may have been a simple misunderstanding.
Someone blocking your driveway
If someone has blocked your driveway so you can’t drive in, we appreciate this can be very frustrating.
If you can find the owner of the vehicle, we’d first recommend asking them politely to move it. If you can’t find them, try leaving a note on their windscreen. After all, they may not realise they have caused a problem.If this doesn’t work, please contact your local council who should be able to contact the vehicle’s owner and arrange for it to be removed if necessary.
If a person has blocked your driveway and is preventing you from getting your own vehicle out, this could be deemed as antisocial behaviour. In this case, we may be able to help. You can report antisocial behaviour online.
As per the Highway Code, it is illegal to park:
- opposite or within ten metres of a junction
- over a dropped kerb
- on a pedestrian crossing (including the area marked by the zig-zag lines)
- in spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders, residents or motorbikes (unless entitled to do so)
- in marked taxi bays, cycle lanes or red lines
- near a school entrance, bus or tram stop
- anywhere that would prevent access for Emergency Services
If you notice a vehicle parked in any of the above areas, please report it to your local council who may issue the owner with a penalty charge notice.
If the vehicle is parked:
- on zig zag lines
- In a way that would prevent emergency vehicles from accessing
These need to be reported to us as a crime.