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What Size Vehicle Can You Park on a Residential Street?

Written by, Marija Petkova

Updated July, 18, 2023

What size vehicle can you park on a residential street? Any vehicle that weighs less than 7.5 tonnes can be legally parked on a residential street, however, there are some restrictions you should be aware of. In this article, we’ll explain all regulations for parking on a residential street, the rules for parking at night as well as how parking on a residential street may affect your insurance.

Let’s dive in.

What size vehicle can you park on a residential street?

Generally, parking your car on a residential street is completely legal as long as you abide by the parking regulations and you don’t block or endanger any other traffic, road users or pedestrians.

The same rules apply to commercial vehicles weighing up to 7.5 tonnes. So as long as you’re parking your van legally, not blocking traffic or causing a road hazard, there is nothing that is stopping you from leaving it on a residential street.

However, if your vehicle weighs over 7.5 tonnes, the rules are a lot stricter. Unless you have permission from the police, you’re prohibited from parking your vehicle on any verge, pavement or land between carriageways.

The only exception to this rule is when you need to park for loading or unloading, but even then, the vehicle must not be left unattended.

Where can and can’t you park?

Even though the Highway Code is not the law, most of its rules are legal requirements under the Roads Traffic Act, and by breaking them, you risk being fined, disqualified from driving and even prosecuted.

The Highway Code says that drivers are allowed to park their vehicles:

  • In off-street parking areas
  • In parking bays on the road specifically marked out with white lines
  • At the side of the road facing the direction of the traffic 

It’s also worth noting that according to residential parking laws, parking outside someone else’s house is not illegal, but it can cause problems with the owner of the house. For example, it may block their natural light or view as they pull out of their drive, so it is highly recommended to avoid it or at least communicate with them so you can come up with a solution that will work for both of you.  

According to UK parking rules, parking a vehicle is prohibited:

  • On a double yellow line – Parking a vehicle or waiting on a double yellow line that is painted on the road or on the kerb is not allowed at any time except for Blue Badge holders, that can park for a maximum of three hours as long as they don’t cause obstructions for other drivers. Also, unless there are specific restrictions against it, loading and unloading may be allowed on a double yellow line.
  • On a single yellow line – If there is a single yellow line painted on the road or on the kerb, drivers can not park or stop during the times specified on the nearby signs, except if they’re Blue Badge holders, in which case they are allowed to park for up to three hours.
  • Red Route stopping controls – In some cases, instead of yellow lines, single and double red lines are used to indicate that parking is not allowed except for Blue Badge holders and licenced taxis. Double red lines prohibit parking at any time, and single red lines may allow you to park at times specified on the nearby signs.
  • Clearways – Clearways are marked with a red cross over a blue background and can not be used for parking or stopping at any time. At the start of the clearway, there should also be a sign showing its length.
  • On a yellow zig-zag line – Parking or stopping on yellow zig-zag lines that usually can be found outside schools, hospitals and police and fire stations is also strictly prohibited.
  • On a white zig-zag line – White zig-zag lines are used to mark the approach to and the exit from a pedestrian crossing. White zig-zags are enforceable even without an accompanying sign, and they prohibit parking and stopping in those areas. 
  • On pedestrian crossings, near a school entrance, in cycle lanes, taxi bays, on a bus or tram stop 
  • In parking spaces reserved for certain road users such as disabled, motorcycle or spaces reserved for residents or customers
  • On pavements – Parking your vehicle partially or wholly on the pavement in London is strictly prohibited, and you also shouldn’t do it elsewhere unless there is a sign that permits it, as it can obstruct pedestrians, disabled people and people with prams and pushchairs.

The full list of all the places where you shouldn’t park your vehicle can be found on the gov.uk website.

Parking at night rules

The residential street parking laws in the UK are different for parking at night, especially for larger vehicles.

Any vehicle parked on the road at night must face the direction of the traffic unless it is in a marked parking space. Also, if the road has a speed limit higher than 30mph, you must leave the vehicle’s sidelights on at all times.

But, if the vehicle has a maximum loaded weight of more than 2500 kg, the parking lights must be left on regardless of the road’s speed limit.

Parking and insurance

If you’re parking your work vehicle near your house for an extended period or overnight on a regular basis, you should check with your insurer to see if it’s covered and avoid any tax issues later on. For example, you can always get one-day van insurance if you use a van to move. 

Parking commercial vehicles in residential areas with a high crime rate will typically increase your insurance premium as it makes it more likely that thieves will target your vehicle.

Bottom line

Commercial vehicles parking on residential streets in the UK is considered legal, as long as the vehicle doesn’t weigh over 7.5 tonnes and it doesn’t block traffic or cause any other obstructions. However, if you’re parking your vehicle on a residential street on a regular basis, it may affect your insurance, so it is probably best to check with your insurer.

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

Can you park commercial vans on residential streets in the UK?

Parking rules in the UK don’t prohibit the parking of commercial vehicles in residential areas as long as the vehicle doesn’t block traffic or cause any other obstructions that may endanger pedestrians or other road users.  

Can I park a 7.5-tonne vehicle on the road?

The law on parking commercial vehicles in residential areas in the UK prohibits vehicles weighing over 7.5 tonnes from parking on any verge, pavement or land between carriageways without prior police permission. Loading and unloading, however, is permitted as long as someone stays with the vehicle at all times. 

Can you stop someone from parking outside your house?

Since it’s a public road, you have no legal rights to prevent someone from parking in front of your house.

Can you park a caravan on a residential street UK?

As long as you obey traffic regulations and don’t cause an obstruction, you can legally park your caravan on a residential street.

What size vehicle can you park on a residential street?

Any vehicle weighing less than 7.5 tonnes can be legally parked on a residential street in the UK, however be aware that there are some restrictions regarding parking on residential street.

My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.