As caravaners, we all know that parking a caravan in a residential area has its pitfalls…as well as benefits. There are so many considerations at play. Will it annoy your neighbours? Is it safe from theft and vandalism? Are there any legal restrictions where a breach may result in a fine?
In this article, I will look at where you are permitted to park your caravan. I will consider residential parking first, looking at street parking and then consider drive ways and car parks.
Why is this important? Well, we know from data that one of the most frustrating and costly aspects of caravan ownership is storage…where do you put it when you are not using it? Storage site fees can soon build up, and indoor caravan storage is even more expensive.
You can park your caravan legally in the UK as long as you do not contravene and parking restrictions breaching the highway code. Whether you can park on a certain street or drive may be dictated by restrictive covenants. As with anything, it is always better to stay amicable with your neighbours so consult with them if there is an issue.
What do the police say about parking your caravan in a residential area?
As you would expect, the police are more concerned about legal requirements. Your caravan must not cause any obstruction nor cause any danger.
In order to comply with parking requirements, firstly you must be able to park there. The nearside of the trailer needs to be facing the pavement so that the rear lights can be seen by cars approaching. Additionally, caravans must be lit at night to indicate their presence if they are over the size limit set out in law.
If your car is not attached to the caravan, then you must take additional steps. You must prevent at least one of the wheels from turning. This can be done with a clamp, lock or chains. There are plenty of commercial devices that will do this.
If your caravan is causing an obstruction, for example it is parked very close to a corner on a turning, the police may well ask you to move it.
Generally, as long as it meets the parking rules, they will not get too involved. What they will not do is ask you to make it because a neighbour has called them requesting its removal.
What does the Highway code say about caravan parking?
There are no specific rules relating to caravans. However, the rules around parking remain the same.
Your house deeds may prevent you parking your caravan on your drive or street
Although not common, there may be restrictions within your deeds that prevent you from parking your caravan or trailer on the street, even on your drive. These are known as restrictive covenants.
You need to check your deeds carefully to see whether there is one. Remember that restrictive covenants run with the house and not the owner. You may buy or sell the house but the covenant remains with the house.
It is therefore important that your conveyancing solicitor checks the deeds thoroughly to ensure your caravan ownership is trouble free.
Should you ignore them, then you may be asked to remove it and possibly face legal action. These are normally inserted by property developers to prevent caravans taking space and idealism about a certain look of the neighbourhood.
Essentially it is up to your neighbours to enforce it through legal action. They may not, nor may they be aware. It is always better to err on the side of caution and prevent any kind of dispute which can cause misery all round.
Can you park a caravan on your drive?
The answer to this question is the same as the deed issue. As long as the deeds of your property do not include a restrictive covenant preventing you from doing so, then you are completely free to park your caravan there.
The question of whether it annoys your neighbours is a social matter not a legal issue.
Do I need planning permission for a caravan on my drive?
It is not a case of planning permission if the caravan is parked on your drive. The first step is to check whether it is allowed on your deeds.
Do you need planning permission for a caravan in your garden?
Even within the area of your home and garden, you do not need planning permission provided that the use is incidental to the occupation of the property i.e. you are not living in it.
Insurance issues if you park your caravan on the street
You may well be entitled to park your caravan on the street but doing so may invalidate your insurance. You therefore need to check whether you are covered should you take this route. If not, do so as there is more likelihood of damage when exposed to a street scene.
Caravan parking laws in Scotland
They are the same as England and if your caravan does qualify under section 224 of the Highway code, then you need to take the necessary actions.
I hope I cleared up some common misconceptions. As with anything related to this, contact your local council. They all operate different ways and have a differing view. Better to err on the side of caution and get them onside should there be any future issues.
Let me know what you think. Is there something you want to add? Leave a comment below and help your fellow caravaners.
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