January 16, 2020

Can I park my van outside my home?

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Your van is your livelihood and at the end of a busy day working its natural to want to park your vehicle at home, however is this legal? Vansdirect takes a closer look!

Van parking at home

You may love your van and why wouldn’t you? You spend large parts of your day in it, travelling between different jobs, however your neighbours may not be quite of fond of your pride and joy as you are. They may consider your commercial vehicle to be and eyesore or an unwelcome tenant on the street outside their house blocking their view. There’s also some legal factors you need to consider so you can stay on the right side of the law.

So if you are considering parking your van at home, here are some factors that you need to think about:

  1. Does your company allow you to park your van at home? Worth checking this in advance to avoid issues later on and ensure there’s no company van tax headaches.
  2. If your van is kept there for long periods or overnight on a regular basis you may need to inform your insurance and check it is covered. Ensure you are aware of any parking restrictions on your street. Not parking on yellow lines is obvious advice, however if you are in a controlled parking area make sure you know what times those lines are active. You also need to be aware of any permit car parking area or reserved parking bays. Usually fine for cars, however resident permits for controlled parking zones may potentially exclude vans. If your permit allows you to park a van, then usually you will have to be the registered owner of the vehicle, this is fine if you’re a sole trader, however may be challenging if you drive a company owned van
  3. Your business van is unlikely to have a maximum laden weight in excess of 7.5-tonnes, as this constitutes a truck, however if you do, the law states that these vehicles must not be parked on a verge, pavement or any land situated between carriageways without police permission. The only exception to this legislation is when parking is crucial for loading and unloading but even then you shouldn’t leave the vehicle unattended.
  4. A little known fact is that if your van weighs in excess of 2500kg and is parked on the street between sunrise and sunset, then it must be left with its lights on. This law is the same of any passenger vehicle with more than nine seats. All lights must be left lit and unobscured, if your vehicle has an unladen mass of less than 2500kg then there’s no need to leave it parked with its lights on, provided the road it is on has a speed limit of 30mph or less.
  5. Your van must be parked in an authorised parking space or a marked lay-by, your van must also be further than 10 metres from a junction. All vehicles should be parked with their nearside close to and parallel with the nearside kerb.
  6. You shouldn’t have to follow any of the laws above if you park your vehicle on a driveway or in a garage. It is however worth checking your house deeds to see if there are any enforced covenants or planning restrictions that stop the parking of trade vehicles at a residential property, although rare these are worth checking for.
  7. Will you require planning permission? This is possible, local councils are fed up of receiving complaints about commercial vehicles parked in the driveways and gardens of private houses. To stop this, many are saying that the parking is ‘going against the enjoyment of the property’. As such they consider it a material change of use and you will need to apply for planning permission. The council considers the following factors:
  • The design, size and number of vans at a property
  • The position of your van and proximity to adjoining properties
  • The van’s effect on the appearance of the local area
  • The times your van departs and arrives at the property

Vansdirect advises checking with your local council first to avoid later problems, particularly with neighbours and residents.

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