Parking Guide Travellers Tips


For visitors to the UK finding a parking space can be a challenge and knowing whether you can legally park somewhere can sometimes be confusing with a host of different rules, regulations and restrictions on parking. The parking guide travellers tips article aims to inform travellers of the main rules and regulations governing parking the UK so you have a better idea of the rules & restrictions when parking.

Parking Guide Travellers Tips

UK Parking Guide
Where Not To Park
Parking Tips & Considerations

UK Parking Guide

The UK has some strict parking rules, regulations and enforcement of parking restrictions that are usually rigorously enforced. It is recommended travellers ensure they fully understand these rules before parking and help avoid unnecessary fines and worry.

Yellow & Red Lines

There are yellow and red lines on the roads to indicate where you can and where you cannot park. There are restrictions on when you can park here, as a general rule you cannot park on double yellow lines at any time. For double red lines it is even stricter, you cannot park or stop there at any time. Single yellow & red lines tend to have restrictions during certain hours & days, outside of these it may be okay to park, however it is advisable to check in each case. It can sometimes be cheaper to park on Sundays and there may be no cost or a reduced cost to parking at this time, check the rules first.

Bus Stops and Bus Lanes

Drivers should make sure they never park at a bus stop and do not park in bus lanes during restricted hours. There are often cameras monitoring bus lanes and if you drive or park in one during the restricted hours, chances are you will be fined.

Disabled Parking

Disabled Parking Spaces are marked by marking on the road and are reserved for disabled people. Disabled people with a relevant and valid disabled parking badge can use these spaces. If you have one of these you need to ensure the badge is clearly displayed on the windscreen of the vehicle. There are often disabled parking spaces in car parks & sometimes they can have a floor for disabled badge holders only. If you do not have a disabled badge do not park in these spaces, your vehicle is likely to be fined & towed away.

Cycle Lanes

Before attempting to park in cycle lanes, check for any restrictions and ensure you can park legally. If you can park in the lanes, make sure you do not obstruct access to the lane for cyclists.

Car parks

Car parks are places where you can park your car and sometimes present the best or only place available for parking. There are car parks situated all over the UK, the price ranges widely from some being free to use to some having extravagant charges. The amount you pay usually depends on the length of your stay and the location of the car park. Out of town car parks tend to be cheaper than those in town and cities, car parks in areas such as central London can be extremely expensive, always check the prices before parking. The rates are usually on a half hourly or hourly basis.

Some car parks have discounted rates on Sundays & public holidays, this is variable so it is wise to check first. There are usually a number of car parks to choose from in most towns & cities, do your research online to see where the local car parks are & how much they charge. The details may be online or your may need to call them to find out. It is worth checking as car parking costs can vary considerably & you could save yourself a tidy sum by parking in a cheaper car park. (although you should check the car parks are well lit, with security & not in isolated areas).

For more details on Car Parks in the UK please see:

NCP - Find a Car Park

Car Parks4U

Pay & Display

With pay & display you usually need to buy a parking ticket and display this ticket on the windscreen of your vehicle. This system is popular with on street parking across the UK & is used both on residential roads and main roads & high streets. The amount you need to pay varies both on the amount of time you wish to park for and the location you are in. As with car parks, out of town places tend to charge less while pay and display rates in places such as central London can be high. The charges are usually on a half hourly to one hour basis.

On some pay & display spaces there may be reduced rates on Sundays & public holidays, check the rules of each area first.

Where Not To Park

Do not park in anywhere where there are parking restrictions at the times they apply.

Do not park in Bus lanes during restricted hours. Be cautious of parking in bus lanes even in unrestricted hours, the rules can be complicated & ensure you understand the rules correctly, if in doubt do not park there.

Do not park on double red lines.

Do not park on red lines when restrictions apply.

Do not park on roads with double yellow lines.

Do not park on single yellow lines when restrictions apply.

Do not park in parking spaces that have residents parking restrictions at the times they apply. Read the rules even when they do not apply, there can be different rules on different sections of the road.

Parking Tips & Considerations

Before you start your journey do some research to find parking areas/car parks where you want to go & note them down. This way you are not stuck aimlessly looking for parking & can go to the car park with more competitive rates.

Check the exact rules that apply to the parking space you wish to park in.

If you do not understand the rules, check first with a parking official or traffic warden to clarify the rules that apply.

If in any doubt about the rules, where you can park somewhere & for how long, it is better not to park there.

Beware different sections on the road can have different rules, including different sides of the road. Do not assume the rules apply to the entire road, check carefully first before parking.

Stick to parking within the parking bays ensuring your car/vehicle is properly within the highlighted parking bays. This stops possible fines for not parking within the parking bays provided.

Before parking check the parking space/road to ensure there is nothing on it that can damage your car/vehicle and tyres i.e. nails or sharp objects, if you see anything that can damage your vehicle, look for another parking space.

If the parking space is pay & display, do not forget to display the ticket on your front windscreen.

If you are not sure how long you are going to be, ensure you put in a bit extra i.e. the next 30 minutes or 1 hour to ensure in case you are delayed in returning to your vehicle you are not fined. This can also help reduce stress & anxiety for those worried about not getting back in time.

Although it sounds obvious, remember the name of the road, car park & car park floor & section where you have parked. It is easy to forget especially when going to an area you are not familiar with.

Always ensure you do not show any valuables in your car when you have parked. Put away all valuables out of view.

Do not park in car parks and roads that are poorly lit.

Avoid parking in deserted car parks and other roads with few other vehicles.

Be aware of your surroundings, the environment and those around you when parking your car, getting out of it & coming back to the car.

Keep you car keys ready when returning to the car, get inside and lock the doors as soon as you get in.

It is recommended before parking you double check that your understanding of the rules and pricing are correct, it is easy to make mistakes that can be expensive. Making sure you can legally park somewhere and knowing the total cost can help to avoid situations where parking rules are broken, this can lead to fines, clamping of your vehicle and towing.

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