If you call authorities to report a random car parked on your private driveway, they might not be able to do much. In the Mirror, a car company uncovers a legal loophole that allows strangers to block your driveway with no repercussions.
Nonetheless, there may be something you can do to help avoid this problem happening to you again. Here’s what you need to know.
What does the law do when a car parks in a private driveway?
Typically, if the vehicle is parked on a public road blocking a driveway, the driver is committing a parking offence. However, the law has no such authority over your private property.
Local councils are required to move any abandoned car, regardless of where it is parked. However, if the car has up to date MOT, tax, insurance and is not in a position where it could cause possibly pose danger, “the council are again powerless”.
There is no criminal law against parking in someone else’s private driveway. Seen from a different angle, parking in a private property can be considered an act of trespassing.
Here is the loophole: Trespassing is classed as a civil offence rather than a criminal offence, according to the Mirror. This means that the police do not have the power to make an arrest.
Then, what can you do if someone parked in your private driveway?
Take it to court
The only way courts would have jurisdiction to remove the car from the driveway would be if the homeowner decided to pursue a civil case for trespassing.
Alternatively, the affected party could pursue a legal claim for nuisance behaviour. This would be on the grounds that the driver is interfering with the usage of the property.
Beware before you proceed. As you may well know, pursuing a court case can be long-winded process. It can be even costly for the homeowner if they do not have legal expenses insurance.
Confront the perpetrator
You can attempt discuss matters sensibly with the stray driver. Simply block the unwanted car with your own to catch its driver.
In this instance, the Mirror advises people to keep calm and try to not let the situation escalate.
Do not try to move the car forcefully or take the law into your own hands. This may result in you unknowingly committing criminal offence.
Install a fence
If you are constantly facing this problem, installing a locked fence around the driveway could give you peace of mind. The fence will ensure no one can park outside your driveway whilst your vehicle is off it.