This is what you can do if someone parks on your drive without permission

It might be a new year but people in Sheffield are still having the same parking problems.

By Dan Windham
Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 7:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 7:55 am
Car parked on driveway (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images for Go Ultra Low)
Car parked on driveway (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images for Go Ultra Low)

Whether it’s parking on the pavement or pulling up on yellow zig-zag lines outside a school there’s plenty for Sheffield drivers to moan about. 

But, one of the biggest driving nuisances is still motorists parking their cars on their drives. 

Car parked on driveway (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images for Go Ultra Low)

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In June, the Star revealed one angry resident was up in arms after NHS staff continued to 'clogg up' her road, meaning she couldn't park outside her own house.

However, the bad news is, unless you live on a road which has residential parking permits, or is private, it's very difficult to stop this from happening.

Even though neighbours may give you a preference over the parking spot right outside your house, there is actually no legal entitlement for them to do so.

Why is this allowed?

The Road Traffic Act 1991 handed all power over parking enforcement from the police to local authorities, but the council isn’t able to help you either.

While councils can fine drivers for parking offences on the roads, it can’t do anything about vehicles on private property – whether they have permission to park there or not.

An RAC spokesperson said: “When a car is on a drive, it’s technically on private property – and the council has no authority to remove it.”

How can I get rid of the car?

The long and short of it is that it’s best not to.

You can try and move the car yourself, but if you damage it it could be you that ends up in front of a judge and forced to pay.

The Ask The Police website says: “Don’t damage/clamp the vehicle or have it removed by a third party for destruction or storage without first seeking legal advice.

“If you do any of these things, you may commit a criminal offence or the owner may pursue a civil action against you.

“Under no circumstances would we advocate you merely pushing the vehicle on to a road and leaving it there as you may commit a number of offences.”

The RAC says the best thing to do is sit tight, wait for the owner to remove the car and not let the situation escalate.

Is there any type of legal action I can take?

Yes. While parking in someone else’s drive is not a criminal offence, it does count as trespassing, which is a civil offence.

This means you can pursue a civil case against the driver for trespassing, and if you win, authorities will then be able to remove the car.

You could also pursue a claim for nuisance behaviour on the grounds that the driver is “interfering with your use and enjoyment of your property”.

However, claims like these are both expensive and can take a very long time. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth it.

If the issue gets too much for you, you could hire a private tow truck to remove the car. 

But, if the car is damaged then you could be liable to pay for this. 

It is best to seek legal advice and alert the authorities in these circumstances, starting with the The Citizens Advice Bureau.