A strange legal loophole means anyone can now park on your drive and there’s not much you can do about it, and there have been several cases in the United Kingdom where homeowners have been stuck with a stranger’s vehicle on their driveway, only to be told neither the police nor local authorities have the power to remove it.
Because in the case of a stranger parking on your drive, a problem occurs when the boundary between criminal and civil law is clouded.
If a vehicle is parked on a public road and it’s obstructing your drive, local authorities can issue a fine, but once the vehicle moves onto your driveway, it’s technically on private property and local councils have no power.
Councils are expected to remove discarded vehicles from both public and private lands, but if the motor in question is taxed, insured and has a legitimate MOT and isn’t in a hazardous condition, they’re unlikely to move it on private land.
The police will acknowledge the vehicle is technically trespassing, but they’ll classify it as a civil offence, meaning you would require an eviction notice from the courts and then you would be forced to begin a long and costly legal process.
A solicitor would be able to get the civil court’s consent to hunt down the legal owner and a judge would have to make its removal, an order of the court. Court enforcers would then be the ones to take action and have the random vehicle removed.
But all of this court action would be at your expense and could end up costing thousands simply to free up your driveway. So, if you don’t want to go through the court process, you only really have a few choices.
You can park your vehicle on the driveway, blocking in the stranger’s motor, as long as you don’t obstruct any part of the public road. You would then have to hope that you catch the owner returning to their vehicle and then they oblige when you ask them to move.
Or you could hire a private tow truck to have it removed, which will see you fork out at least £100, but keep in mind that any damage incurred when the vehicle is being towed could be thrown back at you by the owner, and you would be liable to pay for it.
You could also fit a barrier or parking bollard on your drive to section it off and would feasibly save you money in doing this, but strangely, the system appears to support the offender over the victim in this situation.