One of the main reasons people choose the motorhome or campervan life is the freedom it offers. You get to travel from city to town, town to campsite, and all the way back again in your very own wheeled accommodation. There’s even the opportunity for a spot of wild camping if you want to.
After a long day behind the wheel or adventuring, your bed is right there when you need it. But, does this freedom include being able to enjoy overnight parking anywhere you want?
Unfortunately, parking laws in the UK can be complicated, which is why we felt the need to write this post. Get the lowdown on motorhome parking laws, particularly in relation to parking on the street, right here, right now.
Can You Legally Park a Motorhome on the Street?
Unfortunately, this is somewhat of a grey area. The problem is that the roads in cities, towns, and villages belong to local authorities. It doesn’t matter whether you want to park in London, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, the city of Bristol, or Nottingham. Each local authority has its own rules.
In general, you have no legal right to park on the street in the UK, however, there’s no law to prevent you from doing it either.
How Long Can You Park a Motorhome on the Street?
If you’re not planning to travel for a few weeks, there’s the issue of parking to deal with. If your property has a drive, this is the best place to park it, as long as the vehicle has a valid MOT and tax. You might also choose to look for approved motorhome parking spots.
Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to own a drive. In such cases, there is no law that stipulates you can’t park your motorhome on the street, as long as you’re not sleeping in it.
However, be mindful of your neighbours and the inconvenience it might cause them. They may object to you parking in the street if you’re blocking their access or light.
There is one exception and that’s if it specifies you can’t keep a vehicle on the drive or in the space outside your house in the property’s title deeds. Some council houses or estates, or non-privately owned land may also have a clause that would prevent you from parking there.
Are There Any Time Limits or Restrictions on How Long a Motorhome Can be Parked on the Street?
In theory, there are no time limits or restrictions on how long you can park your motorhome on the street. However, because rules vary depending on your location, you do run the risk of falling foul of local Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO).
Are There Motorhome Parking Laws?
As we’ve already mentioned, there may be laws in place that restrict where and for how long you can park your motorhome. Let’s take a quick look at some of the more common long term motorhome parking laws.
In some cities, there may be time restrictions imposed if you want to park a motorhome on the street. similar restrictions might apply to commercial vehicles. Restrictions range from just a couple of hours to more than a few days, and often include overnight parking. It’s also possible that in some locations, overnight parking is not permitted at all.
While motorhomes come in a range of different sizes, some of them are quite large. Residential streets in some cities may restrict vehicles over a certain size. Size restrictions may apply to the length or the height of vehicles.
In some cities, permits or fees may be a requirement if you want to park your motorhome on the street. This is more likely if you want to park your motorhome for long periods. If a permit is required, it must be displayed in your motorhome’s front window. Fail to display your permit and you may have to pay a fine or run the risk of your motorhome being towed away.
There are several specific areas that are more likely to have parking rules that must be followed. These include residential streets and historic locations where it’s less likely you can park your motorhome on the street. National parks also tend to have restrictions, especially concerning wild camping and the right to wild camp.
Concerns about safety are a common reason for there to be parking rules in place. Certain streets or areas may prohibit overnight parking because of visibility issues, emergency vehicle access, or concerns about traffic flow.
What You Should Know Before Parking Your Motorhome on the Street
If you’re thinking about parking your motorhome on the street there are some things you should keep in mind.
- Local parking regulations: Find out as much as you can about local parking regulations. Check for time limitations and whether you need to get a permit that allows you to park your motorhome on the street or in car parks.
- Size restrictions: You might find that there are size restrictions relating to vehicles parking on the street. If this is the case, make sure your RV is within the size limits.
- Street cleaning schedules: In cities and towns there is often a regular street cleaning schedule. Campervan owners should find out when the streets are cleaned so they can avoid getting their motorhome towed or given a parking ticket.
- Neighbourhood rules or regulations: It’s not uncommon for certain neighbourhoods to have parking rules or regulations in place. If you want to park your campervan overnight on the street you should check with your local neighbourhood council or homeowners association. You don’t want to break the rules if you can help it.
- Safety concerns: Whenever you park your motorhome on the street you should be aware of other drivers and pedestrians’ safety. Always park it in a safe location and make sure it doesn’t pose a hazard to pedestrians or obstruct traffic.
- TROs (Traffic Regulation Orders): TROs are local bylaws that are laid down by the local authority. They relate to various traffic restrictions and can vary depending on your location. They tend to be rules about littering, bus lanes, car parks, and parking vehicles on the road. Check your local authority TROs and if you’re travelling, you can research online by visiting the TRO Library. You’ll find a comprehensive breakdown of rules by region.
Parking a Motorhome on The Street For Long Durations of Time
The rules for long-term parking of a motorhome vary from one location to another. However, in general, no law says you can’t park your vehicle on the street as long as you’re not sleeping in it.
You should be mindful of people living around you, and be careful not to block their light or access. Also, bear in mind that they have the right to object to where you’re parking your motorhome.
What are the Consequences of Parking a Motorhome on the Street for an Extended Period?
While many motorhome owners think they have the right to park their vehicle anywhere it’s not actually true.
If your vehicle is causing a nuisance, getting in the way, disrupting traffic, or simply blocking a neighbour’s light, they have the right to complain and you’ll be asked to move it.
You also have to make sure you’re not falling foul of any TROs. Break a TRO and you could land yourself with a fine.
Are There Any Permit Requirements or Fees Associated With Parking a Motorhome on the Street for an Extended Period?
In certain locations, parking permits are a requirement and there is often a fee to be paid. However, certain restrictions come with these parking permits. For example, the maximum length of the vehicle, maximum height, and maximum unladen weight. It’s likely, an average-sized motorhome will not be within the limitations.
Are There Any Safety Concerns Related to Parking a Motorhome on the Street for an Extended Period?
Safety concerns related to parking a motorhome on the street for an extended period include traffic issues, causing an obstruction, and allowing the motorhome to fall into disrepair.
Can You Park a Motorhome on the Street Outside Your Home?
There are no rules in the UK to stop you from parking your motorhome on the street or on the pavement outside your house. You should make sure you’re complying with any local laws and abiding by any parking restrictions. Always remember that your motorhome is much larger than the average vehicle so there are a couple of things to consider:
- Size: Before parking your motorhome outside your home check for overhanging trees that might damage your vehicle.
- Neighbours: It pays to keep on the good side of your neighbours so talk to them about parking it outside your home to make sure nobody objects.
Can You Sleep in a Motorhome Parked on the Street?
Technically, you’re not allowed to sleep in a motorhome that’s parked on the street. This tends to be because of TROs. These typically prohibit activities such as sleeping on public roads or in vehicles that are parked in public areas.
There is a distinct lack of clarity in terms of legislation across the UK. However, while sleeping on roads is not explicitly forbidden, you could find yourself being moved on even if you only park overnight as it’s not generally tolerated.
Where to Find Information About Parking a Motorhome on the Street?
It is always best to contact your local authority to find out the rules and regulations for parking a motorhome on the street.
What Steps Can Be Taken to Ensure That a Motorhome Parked on the Street Does Not Become a Nuisance or Eyesore in the Neighborhood?
If you decide that you want to park your motorhome on the street, there are some things you can do to ensure it doesn’t become an eyesore or a nuisance for other people in the neighbourhood.
- Keep it clean: You should clean the exterior of your motorhome regularly as this will prevent a build-up of grime and dirt. A clean motorhome is far more attractive and less likely to be considered an eyesore. Keeping your motorhome clean will also extend its lifespan and require fewer repairs.
- Maintain it well: If you spend the time on keeping your motorhome well-maintained it won’t look rundown and neglected. A regular maintenance schedule will reduce the number of mechanical issues and keep your motorhome looking and performing at its best.
- Be respectful of neighbours: If you’re parking your motorhome on a street there are going to be other people living there that you need to be considerate of. Don’t block driveways or park in front of other people’s homes for long periods of time.
- Follow local parking regulations: Make sure you find out about local parking regulations. You also need to follow them if you want to avoid any legal issues or fines. Research the regulations in your local area because there may be specific parking time limits or you might have to apply for a permit.
- Use appropriate accessories: When it comes to the safety of your motorhome you can use stabilising jacks or levelling blocks. These simple accessories help to stop it from moving or shifting and becoming a nuisance while it’s parked.
What Steps Can Local Authorities Take to Address Concerns Related to Motorhomes Parked on the Street for an Extended Period?
A new law was introduced in the UK in 2022. It was called the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill and made changes to UK campervan parking laws.
Motorhome owners need to be aware of this bill because they are at risk of having their vehicles seized by police if they park anywhere without the landowner’s permission.
However, if you are asked to move your motorhome and you do so you’re not breaking the law. In addition, the law clearly states that if you’re not causing any significant harm, you’re not caught by the new offence.
As you can see, the rules around parking a motorhome on the street can be confusing. Suffice it to say that while it is possible, never consider it a right. If you’re causing a nuisance or your motorhome is an eyesore, be prepared for some trouble. You might be asked to move it and as long as you do so, there should be no legal issues.