Drivers warned of other people parking on their driverway

Strangers are legally allowed to park in your driveway in the UK

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As Britons around the country celebrate Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year, many will rarely be out and about in their car, unless they are visiting friends and family. It is not uncommon for multiple family members to converge on one house for the festivities, with many overlooking any parking problems.

However, many may be stuck with a mystery car on their driveway this Christmas, but what can they do to prevent this from happening?

Naturally, motorists would think to call the police or the council to have it removed, but they may not be able to help.

A curious loophole in the law means that drivers may be able to park on someone else’s driveway and go unpunished.

There is no criminal law against the indecent act of someone parking on a driveway without the homeowner’s consent.

A driveway is part of a property, so by driving onto it the person is committing an act of trespassing.

However, trespassing is classed as a civil offence, not a criminal offence, meaning the police don’t have the power to make an arrest.

When a motorist parks on someone else’s driveway there is very little chance of the law getting involved. 

This is because the council has no authority over private property and cannot dictate or control access.

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However, if the car is parked on a public road blocking a driveway, the driver is committing a parking offence.

In these circumstances, local authorities have the power to get involved and issue a fine to the motorist. 

A spokesperson for StressFreeCarRental.com said: “Unfortunately, many homeowners stuck with someone else parked on their driveway are turned away from local authorities and councils as they have no authority to remove vehicles from private properties. 

“Although this act can very often go unpunished, there are some things irritated homeowners can do to help avoid this problem happening to them again.”

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If a homeowner suspects the vehicle has been abandoned, their local council would be required to move the car regardless of its position on private or public land.

However, if the car has up-to-date MOT, tax, insurance and is not in a position where it could cause danger to anyone around, the council are again powerless.

The RAC advises drivers to keep calm and “don’t let the situation escalate”.

It added: “Never take the law into your own hands and do not stoop to revenge tactics that could get you prosecuted also.

“If it’s causing an issue, try and speak to the person and resolve the situation sensibly.”

The RAC has suggested that drivers can take steps to deter people from parking on their drive, including putting up a fence, gate or bollards.

This may be more necessary if a driver lives near a hospital, stadium or airport, where parking is notoriously difficult and expensive.

Many drivers have vented their frustrations at other drivers using notes, affixing them to the offending car, usually telling them to stop what they are doing.

However, drivers should refrain from using threatening language or damaging their vehicle when lifting up the windscreen wiper to leave the note.

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