Parking on private land


Guide to the law on parking on private land in England and Wales. Please click on the graphic to enlarge it.


Basic Land Law: mainly civil.  Parking on private land (i.e not on public roads or in car-parks run by public authorities).   The typical driver is often portrayed as a selfish and irresponsible character.  There may be some truth in that idea. However, the fact is that cars are large and awkward objects, and they are bound to cause problems from time to time in an overcrowded country where space is at a premium.  Our Live Law video illustrates the problem:  landowners with space to offer for parking can exploit that advantage.  It’s important for drivers to be clear about whether parking is or is not allowed in a particular situation, and if so on what terms.

Questions answered in this Live Law file.   How people can grant temporary permission for parking on private land.  Creating a permanent right to park on land by means of a deed, or by unlawful use over time (“prescription” in legal language).  Whether a private right of way gives drivers the park on the road in question.  How people can take action against unlawful (“rogue”) parking.  The action which people can take against abandoned vehicles.  What can they do to resist various forms of “nuisance” parking (including displaying cars for sale on a public road).

For more information about Live Law files generally, please see also our Terms and Conditions.  And see our private roads website,, for information and asssistance aimed at residents in private roads.