Yellow lines and parking: a comprehensive guide

Yellow lines and parking: a comprehensive guide
When you are driving across the UK, finding somewhere to park can be a challenge. What's more, to add to the confusion, there are different rules for parking on single and double yellow lines to contend with

To help you understand road safety markings and signs (and how to avoid getting a fixed penalty notice) we have put together a comprehensive guide that explains the rules for drivers when it comes to parking. 

If you need help with single and double yellow lines in the UK, read on.

Yellow parking lines and signs meaning

As a general rule, parking on yellow lines in the UK is prohibited. This is for road safety and traffic flow reasons.

There are some parking exceptions where drivers can leave their car on yellow lines – but these usually come with time and location restrictions.

Parking on double yellow lines

You must not park or wait on double yellow lines -  it is largely prohibited to park on them at any time.

Occasionally, van and heavy goods vehicles can stop on double yellow lines to load/unload, but you will need to check this with the local authority as these rules can vary across the UK.

Double yellow line parking exceptions are sometimes in place for Blue Badge holders, too, but this will depend on the rules for the local authority (so always check before parking). 

Parking on single yellow lines

Single yellow lines indicate a parking or waiting restriction on the road. A nearby sign will usually show you when parking is allowed on the road. 

If the single yellow lines do not have a sign, then the time you can park on single yellows is determined by the local council. This is normally during peak driving hours, but you should check this with your local authority as it can vary from each region of the UK.

Can you park on a single yellow line at the weekend?

Parking on single yellow lines at the weekend is permitted in many parts of the UK. However, before leaving your car on single yellow lines at the weekend, you should check local signage to ensure you are permitted to do so. 

The signs should tell you what times you are permitted to park on single yellow lines at the weekend, along with any specific time or vehicle restrictions. 

Can you park on single yellow lines on bank holidays?

You can be fined if you park on a single yellow line during a public holiday, such as bank holidays, Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

There is no general exemption for parking on single yellow lines during a bank holiday, unless a sign near the single yellow lines clearly states, “exempt bank holidays”. So, always check nearby signs before parking.

Can you park on double yellow lines with a Blue Badge?

If you have a valid Blue Badge – or a disabled parking permit – then you may be allowed to park on double yellow lines.

The Blue Badge rules for parking on single or double yellow lines are be issued by the local council, so check with them before you set off on your next car journey.

There are normally time limits to when you can park on these, even with a badge. Drivers with a badge should not obstruct other road users or leave their vehicle in a dangerous location.

Can you park on double yellow lines for any other reason?

Yes, you can park on double yellow lines when you are dropping of passengers or unloading/loading goods into a vehicle.

However, these should only be for very short time periods and where it is safe to do so.

How long can you park on yellow lines for?

If there is a sign next to the single yellow lines, it will tell you the time frame (and limit) for parking.

However, if you are parking on double yellow lines, then you have a maximum of 20 minutes to load/unload the goods from the vehicle of pick up/drop off passengers.

Can you wait on double yellow lines?

You should not wait on double yellow lines. According to the Highway Code states, double yellow lines indicate a prohibition of waiting at any time even if there are no upright signs.

In some cases it may be permitted park on double yellow lines to load or unload heavy goods, but you should check local signs before doing so. 

Do you want to learn more about driving in the UK?

To prepare for the theory test, an app like Driving Theory Test UK is a great place to start, with all necessary learning materials, hazard perception clips and Highway Code info included. You can download it here:

MyRAC-google-play-store MyRAC-app-store

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