25th Oct, 2023
Parking on the road is one of those things that sounds simple enough when you say it, but it can actually be one of the single most nerve-wracking things you can do as a driver – especially if you’ve got to do it with cars zipping past you at high speed, or piling up behind you and waiting patiently (or otherwise).
Now, we’re all about making things easy for you when you scrap your car here at Scrap Car Network – so we thought we’d take the opportunity to make things easier for you when it comes to parking on the road, too. Here’s exactly what you need to know to help you park easily, quickly, and safely!
Whether you’re parking in a quiet residential road or on the street in a major city centre, there are a couple of things it’s always worth bearing in mind. Some of them fall into the realm of general common sense, whereas others aren’t quite as obvious if you’ve not been driving too long!
It’s often relatively easy to work out where you are and aren’t allowed to park, because it’ll be clearly indicated by road signs and markings (and sometimes even physical obstacles, like bollards). Make sure that you look out for these and adhere to them.
Following directly on from our last point – wherever possible, it’s always a good idea to try and make sure you park within designated parking bays. (These are normally marked with white lines.) Don’t forget to ensure that all your wheels are fully within the bay’s lines – if you end up parking crooked, or too far to one side, you could prevent someone else from parking in the space next to you, or prevent either of you from opening your doors properly to get out.
We know, nobody likes to do it. But almost every paid parking area is very hard to miss – there will be signs all over the place telling you that you’ll need to hand over a bit of money for the privilege of leaving your car there. Pay-and-display zones are the most common, so make sure to get a ticket, or use a designated payment method.
This is one to remember when you’re parallel parking in particular – ideally, you’ll want to make sure that your vehicle is facing in the same direction as the flow of traffic. Most of the time this is probably going to be the left side of the road. (When it comes to areas like industrial estates and company parking spaces though – it can all be a bit of a wild west.)
There’s no question that one of the trickiest things to deal with while parking is attempting to account for moving obstacles – especially pedestrians. But don’t be tempted to make them move for you; according to the Highway Code, you’ll always need to give way to pedestrians, and make sure you don’t block pedestrian crossings.
So we’ve covered all the stuff you’ll need to do. Here’s some of the most vital things you’ll need to make sure you avoid!
Just like you’ll need to keep an eye out for designated parking bays, you’ll also need to keep an eye out for specific road markings that tell you that you can’t park in certain places. Double yellow lines are some of the most widely recognised symbols that indicated no-parking zones, whereas single-yellows can be restricted depending on the time of day, and can vary by location. Generally, there will be a sign nearby telling you when the single-yellows are in operation.
Whatever happens, make sure that you don’t park on zigzag lines. These are used to indicate strictly prohibited no-parking zones, and they’re commonly used near pedestrian crossings, school crossings, and similar areas.
Very similar to our last point, no-parking zones will often be surrounded by very obvious signs specifically telling you not to park there, and sometimes telling you why. “No Parking”, “No Waiting” and “Keep Clear” are some of the most common – but see how many others you can spot in the wild.
We’ve already mentioned the importance of accounting for pedestrians – by the same token, you’ll need to avoid parking in front of private driveways, entrances, or access points. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a snotty note – and if you’re unlucky, you may find your car vandalised or even entirely removed, if you’ve blocked a commercial entrance. Parking directly on the pavement is also strongly advised against, and in some cases it may even be a specific offence – it makes life very difficult pedestrians, especially if they’re partially-sighted or wheelchair users.
It can sometimes be an easy mistake to make, but it’s one that could have serious consequences. If you park too close to a junction or intersection, it can sometimes prevent other drivers from seeing your car in time, which could potentially lead to a crash.
If you do find yourself leaving your car in a paid parking area, you’ll generally only be able to pay for a set time limit. It’s worth setting some kind of timer to ensure you don’t go over that time, because you can find yourself saddled with some pretty hefty financial penalties if so!
Those are all our top tips – ultimately, almost every parking situation is slightly different, so mostly it’s a matter of staying calm, alert, and in control. And when it comes to scrapping your car, that’s where we like to help give you equally secure peace of mind, too! All you need to do is enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our site, and we’ll get you an instant online quote before you can say cash for cars. It only takes a few seconds. Curious to find out how much your car is worth?