If you are driving a commercial van for work, chances are that you will be parking it at home. Whilst there is often nothing wrong with that, there are some legal and van insurance issues that you should be aware of before parking up (some councils even require planning permission). We look at the rules and regulations of van parking in a residential area and how this could affect your motor trade insurance policy.
For many people, a van is an essential tool of the trade whether you are self-employed or an employee. As a matter of convenience, you might choose to park your commercial van at home in order to get a head start in business the next morning rather than commuting to pick up at a workplace. Your company might even offer to let you park their van at your home. But it’s worth doing some checks to see if you are safe and legal to avoid pain later.
Parking Rules and Regulations
Let’s first look at some parking basics covered in the UK Highway Code which states that vans can park in off-street parking areas, in parking bays on the road marked out with white lines or on the roadside, facing the direction of traffic, if no restrictions apply on that road. However, the code states that you can’t park or wait on double yellow lines at any time, nor park or wait on single yellow lines during the times shown on any signs.
You also mustn’t park or wait on school entrance markings or anywhere with signs that say you can’t (for example, red routes), nor park or stop on a pedestrian crossing, including the area marked by the zigzag lines. You’re not allowed to park in spaces reserved for specific users, such as Blue Badge holders, residents or motorcycles (unless you’re entitled to) and you can’t leave your van or its trailer in a dangerous place or where it blocks the road.
Also, although legal in other areas of the country, you can’t park on London’s pavements and you really shouldn’t do this elsewhere unless signs permit it. And taxi bays and cycle lanes are also a definite no-no. If you’re unsure you can check out the full list of permitted and restricted parking rules at the Gov.uk website.
A Weight Issue
If your van weighs more than 7.5 tonnes you can’t park it on a verge, pavement or any land situated between carriageways, without police permission except for loading and unloading, but even then, the van shouldn’t be left unattended. If your van weighs more than 2.5 tonnes and is parked on the street between sunrise and sunset, it must be left with its lights on. If your van has an unladen mass of less than 2.5 tonnes, you don’t need to leave its lights on, provided the road it is on has a limit of 30mph or less.
Alongside these rules and regulations local councils and authorities may also impose further restrictions on van parking so it pays to make sure you know about any parking restrictions that apply on your road. You might need planning permission to counter complaints about commercial vehicles parked in your driveway so you should check with your local council to avoid problems later – especially with residents and neighbours.
To avoid disputes, try not to park where your van could block light getting into people’s homes, or where you might restrict their view when they’re moving in and out of their driveway.
Remember also, if you plan to keep your van local on a regular basis, this will need to be updated with your motor trade insurance broker and is likely to affect your van insurance premium. Failure to declare street parking could invalidate any insurance claims you may need to make further down the line.