A Quick Guide To UK Car Parking For The First Time

Visiting the UK for the first time? Or learning here and planning to drive? There are many things to consider, especially around parking. These tips will help you decipher the ins and outs of parking like a pro. If you're visiting Britain for the first time here's some steps to make your stay smoother and avoid any unnecessary stress or confusion.

Are you planning to visit the UK for the first time and want to learn more about car parking? Or are you learning in the UK and want to discover more?

Either way, we are here to help. Driving in the UK is a lot easier than you may think. The roads are very well looked after and the speed limits are easy to follow – essentially, the more you drive and practice, the easier driving will become. 

Car parks in the UK vary depending on where you are visiting. A lot of shopping centers will have multi-story car parks, whereas supermarkets often have bay parking or on-street parking. If you are visiting a major city, on-street parking may be very difficult to find (especially in London) and expensive, whereas quieter countryside towns will often have plenty of on-street parking that you don’t have to pay for. 

To help you with parking in the UK below is our quick guide to UK car parking for the first time. 

Double Yellow Lines 

In the UK double yellow lines are a big no, no. If you are driving down a residential street or within the city and you see a space but it has double yellow lines, this means you cannot park there. If you do this can result in a large fine or your car potentially being towed. The fine for parking on double yellows varies depending on the council that runs that area. 

Single Yellow Lines 

Sometimes you may come across single yellow lines when driving around the UK. What this means is that you are allowed to park there, but only within the designated time. This time is often shown on a sign next to the lines. In most cases, this means you can part there on the weekends and in the evening, but make sure you check first. If you park outside the times, you could be fined. 

Red Route Stopping Controls 

You won’t see these as much, but when driving in the UK you may come across red route-stopping lines. These lines are very similar to double yellow lines but they are red and used instead of them. What they mean is that no matter the time of day, you are not allowed to park or stop on them. If you do, you could be subject to a large fine which has to be paid within 30 days. If you pay it sooner, the fine may be halved. As mentioned above, the amount of the fine will vary depending on the council area you are in. 

We hope this quick guide gives you some insight into parking in the UK for the first time. It may seem overwhelming at first, but once you have gotten used to it, you will pick things up very quickly. If you are ever unsure, speak to someone walking past as they will help. 

Do you have any additional tips that you would like to share for people parking their cars for the first time? Please let us know in the comment box below.



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