Motorists can go ‘unpunished’ for parking on your driveway thanks to strange loophole

Rip Off Britain: Lawyer Gary Rycroft gives tips on parking tickets

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There is no criminal law against the indecent act of someone parking on another person’s driveway without their consent. The driveway is part of their property, so driving onto someone else’s driveway can be seen as trespassing.

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

According to the RAC, at one time, parking enforcement was handled by the police, but following the Road Traffic Act 1991, responsibility was transferred to local authorities.

The local authorities have the power to issue penalty charge notices for parking offences on the road.

If the offence is committed on a public highway or the car is blocking the driveway while parked on a public road, the council has the power to act. 

But when a car is on a drive, it’s technically on private property – and the council has no authority to remove it.

If a vehicle has been abandoned, the local council would be required to move it regardless of whether it’s on public or private land.

However, if the car has up-to-date tax, insurance and MOT and isn’t in a dangerous condition or position, the council is powerless to tow it.

Homeowners could pursue a civil case for trespassing to try and remove the car from the driveway, although this would involve solicitors.

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This is one of the largest hurdles for drivers as it would require finding the legal owner of the car and the court would need to make an order to remove it.

Alternatively, they could pursue a legal claim for nuisance behaviour, as it would mean the driver is interfering with the use and enjoyment of the property.

Drivers may be turned off from this process as it can be a long and arduous task.

It could also be costly if they do not have legal expenses insurance.

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Regardless of the situation, drivers are recommended to always stay calm and try not to let the situation escalate.

Some other alternatives could be installing a locked fence around the driveway, as this can act as a barrier and deterrent from it happening again.

A spokesperson for 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.”

This comes as the Government looks into the possibility of banning pavement parking.

The Department for Transport is “actively considering” a ban in England following a consultation into people’s views on the issue.

At the moment parking on the pavement is only illegal in London, but a new ban would cover the whole of England.

Drivers can currently park on the pavement, however, it is illegal to drive on one.

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