It’s my driveway, so I can park in it, can’t I?

You can park in your driveway – but only within your property.

Parking in the part of the driveway across the footpath might not seem like the worst thing to do but it is an offence and in the 2016/17 financial year you can be fined $93 for doing so. Your land ends at the property boundary, so the driveway between the edge of your property and the road (where the nature strip and any footpath is located) is not yours, but Council’s and must be available for use by anyone. 

Whilst it may be convenient for you to park in your driveway and across part or all of the footpath, you must consider all users of the footpath.  In particular, children, elderly, vision impaired and pedestrians with mobility issues may have trouble navigating around your car, as might people in wheelchairs and parents with prams (particularly the popular three wheel type).  Then there are children on bikes and scooters, who are forced down your driveway crossover and towards or onto the road to get around your car.

Do you really want to be responsible for a child or adult being injured on the road while trying to find their way around your illegally parked car?

Some newer housing estates don’t have the standard 5.5m between the footpath and the garage.  The consequence is residents parking their vehicles in front of their garages (rather than in them) and in doing so parking across the footpath.  Some of those estates have narrower roads, providing limited opportunities for on-street parking.

If you are considering building, buying or renting a home with the garage close to the street, then think about your likely parking habits and whether you will be bothered putting your car in the garage every day.

As shown in the below photo, parking across the footpath in your driveway may also block your neighbour’s view to traffic as they try to reverse out of their driveway.

Car blocking footpath

You can be fined if only a small part of your car is obstructing the footpath.  The tray of a ute or a tow bar can often stick out onto the footpath.  In low light these can be very hard to see and any pedestrian may injure themselves walking into them.

Generally, you will be fined when someone has made a complaint to Council about your parking habits.  Just one annoyed neighbour could result in you being fined.

Remember also, that parking on the street across a driveway is also illegal.

So next time you park your vehicle, think about your neighbours, the local community and your hip pocket.

This article was updated on 19 September, 2017.

Written by Lindsay Layzell
September 28, 2016