Where can you park your van when you’re not using it? What’s the law on parking vans in residential areas? Can you park your van outside your house?
Let’s take a look at what the law says, while also exploring some ways you can keep your van as safe as possible while parked.
Commercial Vehicle Parking Regulations UK
Good news! In almost all cases, you can park your van anywhere you could park a car.
But just like with cars, there are certain do’s and don’ts when it comes to commercial vehicle parking regulations.
You can park your van:
- In off-street parking areas.
- In parking bays on the road – those marked by white lines (but be sure to check for local restrictions, usually indicated on a sign nearby).
- On the roadside, facing the direction of traffic (so long as you don’t block traffic, cause any other obstructions, or endanger pedestrians or other road users in any other way).
You cannot park your van:
- On double yellow lines for any period at any time, or on single yellow lines during the times indicated on nearby signs.
- On pedestrian crossings, on school entrance markings, in taxi bays, in cycle lanes, or anywhere else that’ll cause issues for other road users.
- In spaces reserved for specific road users, including disabled spaces, motorcycle spaces, or spaces reserved for residents or customers.
So the rules for vans are broadly the same as the rules for cars. The obvious difference is that vans are considerably larger than cars, so you’ll have to take extra care to not cause any obstructions.
There are also different rules for parking your van at night. Unless you’re in a marked parking space, you have to park facing the direction of the traffic. If the road’s speed limit is more than 30mph, you have to leave your parking lights on at all times. And if you’re driving a larger van – one with a maximum loading weight above 2.5 tonnes – you must leave your parking lights on at all times on any road you park on.
You can read the commercial vehicle parking regulations in full on the government’s website.
What About Large Good Vehicles?
If your commercial vehicle has a maximum load weight above 7.5 tonnes, the rules are a lot stricter.
Essentially, unless you have police permission, you cannot park on a verge, a pavement, or on any land between carriageways.
However, you can stop temporarily while you’re loading or unloading your vehicle, so long as someone stays with your vehicle at all times. But even then, you cannot load or unload where there are local restrictions in place. Look out for the yellow lines on the kerbside, and for signs detailing the rules.
There’s no stopping at any point on red routes, but there are usually dedicated loading bays where you can stop to load and unload your vehicle. Yet bear in mind that you can only stop to load and unload in these areas. They’re not parking bays!
What’s the Law on Parking Vans in Residential Areas?
If you’re driving to a customer’s house to drop something off or pick something up, all the rules we’ve already discussed apply. Look for road markings, and be aware of obstructions and local restrictions. Your customer should let you park in their drive to load and unload, but it might be best to ask permission first.
But as for parking your van near your own home, there are a few things to bear in mind:
- If you work for a company, talk to them first. They might have van tax or insurance issues that prevent you from parking near your home overnight.
- Look into any local restrictions for your road or estate. And if you have a driveway, check your house deeds. They might specify that you cannot park a van by your house. This is very rare, but it’s best to check!
- Talk to your neighbours. While there’s nothing they can do to stop you from parking your van near your home, it’s best to be courteous to avoid any problems down the line. Some might think vans are eyesores, or they might be worries about noise or obstructions. So have a chat, and you’ll almost certainly reach a compromise.
What About Van Insurance?
If you plan on parking your van near your house, you’ll also have to tell your insurer, as it could affect the price of your policy.
Why? Because parking in a residential area might make it more likely that thieves will target your van.
But there are some things you can do to secure your van overnight. And these security measures could help drive down the cost of your van insurance.
You can read our complete guide to securing your van here.