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Where can you park a van?

Sadly, the answer to this question isn't 'anywhere you like'. In fact, the rules are more complicated than for cars, and the penalties for breaking them can be severe...

Van parked on double yellow lines

If you have a van and it’s used for business purposes, the rules on where to park it overnight can be complex. And, unfortunately, you can't just park your van anywhere you like when you've finished for the day. So, where can you park it?

Parking at home

For a start, it’s worth thinking about whether or not you really need to take your van home at all. After all, a van that’s parked in a locked compound or garage at your place of work will be a lot safer than it would be on a street.

In addition, while you may think that parking your van outside your house is the perfect solution, your neighbours might disagree; they might object to you taking up extra space and potentially obscuring the view from their windows. So, if you want to avoid potential unrest, it’s probably worth speaking to neighbours first, and whatever you do, park considerately.

Van being loaded up side view

If you’re driving a van provided by your employer, then you need to make sure that the van’s insurance policy will cover it for being parked outside your home. It’s also worth checking what effect parking a company van at home will have on your Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax liability.

Plus, if the vehicle is your own van, you need to make sure that your insurance company is aware that you intend to park it at home overnight. 

When parking on the street overnight, you need to be aware of any controlled parking regulations. Your street may require that you hold a valid parking permit in order to park overnight, but some of these specifically exclude vans, so you need to make sure you’re clear on the rules that apply where you live. Check with your local council if you're not sure.

If you intend to park on your own driveway, it’s worth checking your house or flat deeds too. Some deeds or even planning restrictions specifically forbid the parking of commercial vehicles at home; this could have ramifications for both your van’s insurance cover and your home’s insurance policy. Again, a quick call to the council should clarify things.

What does the law say?

The Highway Code is pretty clear on the parking rules for vans.

Just as it is for cars, parking on double yellow or double red lines is not allowed, and you need to be careful when parking on single yellow lines – check the time restrictions. You should also take care not to park at school entrance markings, taxi bays, cycle lanes or pedestrian crossing. And if you park in spaces marked as reserved for motorcycles or the disabled,  you should expect to find a parking ticket on your windscreen the next day.

The cost of a parking ticket varies depending on who is giving it and where the infraction was committed, but fines issued in London typically cost £130 or £80 depending on the offence.

How to appeal a parking ticket

As is the case with a car, vans must be parked at least 10 metres from any junction, and in the same direction as the flow of traffic on the side of the road it’s parked on.

Likewise, if your van is parked on a road with a speed limit higher than 30mph, then it must be parked with its sidelights on. But if it weighs more than 2500kg, it must be parked with its sidelights on overnight, regardless of what the speed limit of the road is. So, even if the speed limit is only 20mph, you should still leave it with sidelights on if you're leaving it until the next day.

Large vans, with a maximum laden weight of more than 7.5 tonnes (including any trailer) must not be parked on a verge, pavement or any land situated between carriageways, without police permission. The only exception to this is if the van is being loaded or unloaded.

Nissan Townstar EV driving

What Car? Says

Some of the rules when parking a van are just the same as when parking a car, with simple common sense at the core of the matter. However, vans can be subject to specific local parking byelaws that aren't always obvious. It will pay to find out everything you need to know before you park, because finding out you’re not covered, or you’re in breach of a specific rule will mean you’ll likely have to pay out for fines or increased insurance costs.

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