TO YOU, of course, your van is your livelihood. And at the end of your working day you want to park your van at home.
But while you may love your van, your neighbours might not. Hard to imagine, but they could consider it to be an eyesore or an unwelcome tenant on the street outside their house which blocks their view.
There are also some legalities you might need to consider too so you can stay the right side of the law.
So if you are thinking of parking your van at home, here are seven things you need to consider.
Does your company allow you to park at home? It’s worth checking in advance to avoid pain later and ensure there are no company van tax issues
If it is kept there for prolonged periods or overnight on a regular basis, you may need to tell your insurers and check it’s covered. Make sure you’re aware of any parking restrictions on your street. Not parking on yellow lines is obvious, but if you’re in a controlled parking area, make sure you know the times when the lines are active. Also, be aware of any permit car parking area or reserved bays. Usually OK for cars, but resident permits for controlled parking zones may well exclude vans. If they do let you park a van, usually you will have to be the registered owner – fine for sole traders but difficult if you are driving a company owned van
You’re unlikely to have a business van with a maximum laden weight of over 7.5 tonnes, as this is truck territory, but in case you do, the law says these vehicles must not be parked on a verge, pavement, or any land situated between carriageways, without police permission. The only exception to this parking rule is when parking is essential for loading and unloading, but even then the vehicle shouldn’t be left unattended.
Another little known fact is that if your van weighs more than 2500kg and is parked on the street between sunrise and sunset, it must be left with its lights on. The same is true of any passenger vehicle with more than nine seats. All lights must be left lit and unobscured. If your van has an unladen mass of less than 2500kg, you needn’t leave it parked with its lights on, provided the road it is on has a limit of 30mph or less.
Your van must be parked in an authorised parking space or a marked lay-by. Your van must and also be further than 10m from a junction. All vehicles should be parked with their nearside close to and parallel with the nearside kerb.
You shouldn’t have to abide by any of the above if you park your business van on a driveway or in a garage. However, it’s worth checking your house deeds to see if there are any enforced covenants or planning restrictions that prevent the parking of trade vehicles at a residential property – these are rare but worth checking for.
Will you need planning permission? Maybe, local councils are getting tired of receiving complaints about commercial vehicles parked in the gardens and driveways of private houses. To counter this, many are now saying ‘this is going against the enjoyment of the property’. As such they consider it a material change of use and as thus you will need to apply for permission.
Factors taken into account by local councils include:
- The size, design and number of commercial vehicles at a property
- Your van’s position and proximity to adjoining properties
- Its effect on the appearance of the local area
- The times your van arrives at your property and departs
We’d advise checking with your local council first to avoid problems later – particularly with residents and neighbours.