Nuisance parking and abandoned vehicles

Nuisance parking

Nuisance parking potentially affects the proper enjoyment of a community, and may be treated as a criminal offence under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Nuisance parking and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005

The 2005 Act specifies the following two criminal offences by businesses in relation to nuisance parking:

  1. Exposing vehicles for sale on a road;
  2. Repairing vehicles on a road.

Exposing vehicles for sale on a road

Some garages and other businesses place cars for sale on the street or in lay-bys for extended periods of time. This can cause a significant nuisance to local residents and can take up valuable parking spaces.

An individual will be guilty of the offence of parking a vehicle on the road to sell if they leave two or more motor vehicles parked within 500 metres of each other on a road or roads where they are exposed or advertised for sale. On conviction, the individual may be fined up to £2,500.

I’m a private individual and want to sell my car. Will I be committing an offence?

The 2005 Act only applies to businesses. If you are challenged by the local authority, you will not be liable if you can prove you were not selling the car in the course of business.

In reality, the offence targets people who run businesses (or sell vehicles as a side-line) and use the road to store their cars and advertise them for sale. Common sense would be expected of the local council when dealing with private individuals.

Using the road as a workshop

It is a criminal offence for a business to carry out repairs, maintenance, servicing, improving or the dismantling of a motor vehicle (or any part or accessory) on a public road. These activities are called ‘restricted works’. The maximum fine on conviction is £2,500. For minor breaches, local councils can choose to deal with this matter by issuing a £100 fixed penalty notice (reduced to £60 for early payment).

I’m a private individual and need to repair my car. Would I be liable under the Act?

As above, if you are challenged by the local authority, or prosecuted, you can avoid liability if you can prove you were not carrying out restricted works in the course of a business (or for gain or reward).

Again, the local council would be expected to use common sense when dealing with members of the general public who are repairing or maintaining their private vehicles on the road.

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For more information on:

  • Reporting offences
  • Abandoned Vehicles
  • Abandoned Vehicles and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005
  • What to do if you spot an abandoned vehicle