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A guide to the laws about parking

Getting to grips with where you can and can't park

A no parking symbol is being shown on a sign

When it comes to parking, do you know the difference between a single yellow line on the side of the road and double white lines? Test your knowledge with our quick parking laws quiz.

Parking disasters

You'd think that following parking laws was common sense. But we've all seen examples of poor parking and even dangerous parking.

From the badly parked car taking up two spaces in the supermarket car park to the parent who waits on the zigzags outside school, there are incidents everyday that make us tut and grumble.

And if poor parking results in an accident, it may not only be your no claim discount you lose. You can be prosecuted for dangerous driving even if you're parked.

Some poor parking can be put down to bad driving choices, but in other cases it may be the result of confusing instructions or simple ignorance.

So how much do you really know about parking laws?

Quick quiz about parking laws

Can you park on a single yellow line?

Yes, a single yellow line on the side of the road allows you to park, but only at certain times. There will be a little yellow sign next to the road that tells you which times to avoid.

Can you park on double yellow lines?

No. Everyone knows this – right?

However, if you're loading, you can park on double yellow lines as long as there are no double yellow lines on the kerb as well. If there are double yellows on the road and the curb then there's no parking or loading under any circumstances.

Can you park on double white lines?

No, but you can drop off and pick up passengers.

Can you stop on a double red line?

No. There's no stopping, dropping off or unloading allowed on roads with double red lines. With single red lines, there are restrictions on when you can stop or unload.

Can you drop someone off on an urban clearway?

Yes you can, but you cannot park there during the times shown on the signage.

Can you park on a pavement?

Not usually, unless it's been marked as part of a parking bay. You also shouldn't park on a dropped curb in front of someone's property.

How close to a junction can you park?

You shouldn't park within ten metres of a junction, unless you're parked in an authorised parking space.

Can I park on private land if there are no signs saying otherwise?

Although you cannot be clamped for parking on most private land, many landowners will be unhappy if you do so when the area is not a designated parking place. If in doubt, it's best to find somewhere else to park.

You can be clamped in car parks at airports, railway stations, ports and harbours even if they are on private land.

What is a Controlled Parking Zone?

These are areas that have restricted parking of some kind, like residents' parking. So there will be times of the day that you can't park there unless you have a permit.

Do parking laws still apply on Bank Holidays?

You bet they do! Unless the signage says otherwise, parking restrictions apply all year round.

What to do if you get a parking ticket

If you come back to your car to find a yellow sticker on your windscreen, you've been served with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

This means you've contravened a parking regulation and you need to pay a fine. If you pay promptly, within 14 days, the fine is usually reduced by half.

You may also receive a PCN through the post if you've been caught breaking the parking laws on CCTV, for example, stopping in a restricted area.

You can challenge your ticket with the organisation that issued it if you think it's wrong.

Will a parking ticket affect my car insurance?

No. If you get issued with a parking ticket, this won't affect your car insurance. You only need to tell your insurer about any motoring offence that adds penalty points to your licence.

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