What can you do when someone parks on your driveway?

posted in: General News, Top Tips

Ever had someone park inconsiderately across your driveway? Chances are that’s happened to most of us at some point, but how about inconsiderate drivers parking on your driveway?

Cars Parked on Driveways

Picture this: you’ve hired a car from us for a weekend away and you’re heading home to load the boot. But when you get there, there’s a stranger’s car in your driveway.

Astonishingly, this sort of rogue parking is on the increase, and if you happen to live by a railway station, chances are you’ll be all too familiar with it as more rail passengers seek to avoid parking charges by dumping their car up the drives of local residents. The issue seems to be this: park your car on the street in a way that breaks a law (eg on double yellow lines) or causes an obstruction and the police will get involved.

Park on someone’s private property and it becomes a civil matter, so the police are considerably less likely to pay too much attention.

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So if you’ve hired a van or car from us and returned home only to find someone else’s car on your drive, what can you do? Here are a few options:

Police: Contact the police in the first instance. They may not do anything but at least you’ll have logged the incident.

Cones: No use if there’s already a car on your drive, but placing cones on your drive can act as a deterrent. Bear in mind, the cones must not cause a public obstruction so they’ll need to remain within the boundary of your property.

Nuisance: You may have a civil right of redress against the driver, and a claim of nuisance may result in a court order restricting the driver from parking on your property and an award of compensation. On the downside, you’ll need to know the driver’s details and such legal processes are longwinded, meaning you might need somewhere else to park your hire vehicle for the foreseeable.

Blocking: Providing you don’t cause an obstruction on the highway, you could block the driver in. Where you would not cause any inconvenience to others (aside from the driver on your driveway) you could park your rental car across your driveway and wait for the knock at the door.

What you shouldn’t do

First, unless you live on a private roadway (and very few of us do) you don’t own the land outside your house. That means anyone can park there providing they are not causing an obstruction. So just because your street only has on street parking and you had to park your hire car up the road, doesn’t mean the car parked in front of your home doesn’t have the right to be there.

Second, if there’s a rogue car on your driveway, you don’t have the right to damage it, deflate its tyres, shunt it or have it towed away. Whilst the driver of the vehicle is committing a civil offence by parking on your driveway, you could be committing a criminal offence doing any of the above.

So if you’re on your way to collect your hire car or rental van from us, best put a couple of cones in your driveway, just to be on the safe side.

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