The unlikely parking laws to consider when driving a van

Published:  13 August, 2018

Drivers are being advised of a number of unlikely laws which, if broken, could land them in costly situations when it comes to parking commercial vehicles.

Leasing firm LeaseVan.co.uk has devised a list of things to be aware of when parking, from leaving sidelights on when parking at night to checking for planning permissions.

Checking your insurance and reviewing your house deeds are another two of the unlikely things van drivers should be doing to make sure their vehicles are kept safe, and to save any unnecessary hassle.

Typically, these laws aren’t commonly known but are vital to be aware of to save van drivers getting into problematic situations.

Tim Alcock from LeaseVan.co.uk said: “Parking a van isn’t usually a topic that causes any confusion but there are several laws that many tradespeople should be aware of.

“When parking it is important to consider three things; location, space, and law. These are the three main factors that could cause van drivers some bother.

“Being aware of these rules and regulations will help oblivious drivers avoid tricky parking and legal circumstances, such as getting in trouble with the local council or facing a hefty fine.”

1. Check if your insurance allows you to park at home

Check this in advance to avoid hassle later and ensure there are no company van tax issues. A vehicle with a gross mass of 3,500kg is normally in the same category as a car for parking purposes, but it may differ for larger vehicles. If you are an entrepreneur with your own business van, you should notify your insurer and check if parking at home will affect your cover.

2. Remember to leave the sidelights on

If your van weighs more than 2500kg or is parked on a road with a speed limit greater than 30mph between sunrise and sunset, it must be left with its sidelights on. Always park on the left-hand side of the road, facing the direction of traffic flow. Parking at night on the right-hand side of the road is never allowed, except on a one-way street. Failure to comply with the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 when parking at night could leave you with a regionally determined fine, which is normally between £35-£75.

3. Check your house deeds

Make sure you check your house deeds to see if there are any enforced covenants or planning restrictions that prevent parking trade vehicles at a residential property. This is unlikely, but it’s still worth checking to save yourself trouble in the future.

4. Check for planning permission

Local councils are getting fed up of receiving complaints about commercial vehicles parked in the driveways of private houses as many people believe that this goes against the enjoyment of the property, so make sure you check for planning permission to avoid getting in trouble with your local council. Factors that councils take into consideration include the size, design and number of vans at a property, the van’s position and proximity to next door houses, how it’s affecting the appearance of the local area, and the times the van arrives and leaves the property.

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