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What you don’t know about parking laws can hurt you in the wallet, say motoring experts at LeaseVan, which have identified some of the country’s lesser-known driving laws to help drivers avoid hefty fines and penalties.
You might know that you shouldn’t be parking next to a fire hydrant, but do you know that this can result in on-the-spot fines of £500? What about the consequences of breaking exempt times on double yellow lines? This can lead to fixed penalty points.
Other laws such as parking a van with a dirty number plate can see drivers charged with a £1000 fine if the registration is unreadable.
Tim Alcock from LeaseVan says: “Drivers need to brush up on their motoring laws to prevent any nasty surprises if a fine comes through the post. Even common mistakes such as parking too close to a fire hydrant and having a dirty van can result in hefty fines, which is why it’s important to be vigilant when it comes to your vehicle. Some of these laws can result in fines of up to £1,000, points on your license and eventually a driving ban if continuously broken.”
Here are seven of Britain’s strangest van parking laws:
Parking a dirty van
If a vehicle is covered in dirt and grime while parked up, the driver can be charged a £1,000 fine if the number plate is unreadable.
Parking close to a fire hydrant
Van drivers can face £500 fines for parking close to a fire hydrant as emergency services need clear and easy access to water for any incidents.
While it’s not illegal to park your car on the pavement, it’s a criminal offence in London unless permission is otherwise granted. Vans can still be reported in cases where the vehicle is causing an obstruction.
Wheelie bins, traffic cones or other objects to reserve a parking space near your house or workspace can result in fixed penalties as it can be seen as causing a dangerous obstruction on the road.
Parking heavy vans on grass verges
While rules around parking on grass verges vary between local councils, it’s generally allowed unless the van exceeds the optimal weight limit of 7.5 tonnes. Before pulling up, drivers should check the rules in the local area.
Take off air fresheners
Motorists need to take off any ornaments or air fresheners before heading back on the road. Van drivers can be found guilty of careless driving under the Road Traffic Act 1988 if an accident occurs due to an obstructed view of the road.
Breaking time limits on double yellows
The general rule is that vans doing light loading have 20 minutes of access on double yellows, which is extended to 40 minutes for heavy loading. Anything longer than allocated can result in penalty fines and points on the license.