Parking and stopping

By understanding the rules, parking becomes far less of a nightmare.

It’s a universal pain we all understand, the pain of searching for a car park. Here, we break down the key things you need to know about clearways, parking in driveways and nature strips to make your life easier.

Common signs

Clearway sign next to cars on a busy road

Sections of road with these signs need to be kept clear. Only taxis or buses can stop in clearways to pick up or drop off passengers. If you park in this zone and it’s a towaway zone, your vehicle will be towed away, so don’t risk it!

See rule 176 of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017.

You can only stop in areas with these signs if you’re in a vehicle dropping off or picking up passengers or goods. Unless signs say otherwise stopping is limited to two minutes.

Drivers can’t leave their vehicles unattended in these areas and if they need to get out (for example, to help a passenger remove a bag from the boot of the car) they must remain within 3 metres of the vehicle.

For more information see rule 168 of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017.

Unlike no parking zones, these sections prohibit any stopping – even if you’re dropping someone off or picking someone up. You also can’t stop along sections of road marked with a continuous yellow-edge line.

See rule 169 of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017.

Parking

Parking zones

There are many different zones that allow, or prevent, parking for particular types of vehicles. Most zones are quite clear on which type of vehicles can legally stop within the zone:

  • Truck, Taxi and Bus Zones are for the exclusive use of the vehicle type indicated on the sign.
  • Works zones can only be used by drivers of vehicles engaged in construction work in or near the zone.
  • Permit zones are for vehicles displaying a current permit issued by the body responsible for the management of the permit zone (e.g. Local Council).
  • Mail zones are for the exclusive use of postal vehicles.
  • Drivers mustn’t stop in a loading zone unless they are driving:
    •  a bus, commercial passenger vehicle, taxi or a truck (with a gross vehicle mass over 4.5 tonnes) that is dropping off, or picking up, passengers
    • a vehicle constructed mainly for carrying loads (not a sedan, station wagon or motor bike) that is dropping off, or picking up, goods and displaying an identifying label approved by VicRoads
    • a hire vehicle with seating for 10-12 adults including the driver that is dropping off or picking up passengers
    • a courier vehicle, including a motor bike, displaying a 'courier vehicle' sign permanently affixed (i.e. not magnetically) onto the body of the vehicle; or
    • a delivery vehicle displaying a 'delivery vehicle' sign permanently fixed to the body of the vehicle.
  • A time limit of 30 minutes applies to loading zones unless signs indicate otherwise.

See rules 179 to 186 of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017.

Parking on public holidays

  • Always check parking signs to know what restrictions may apply.
  • On a declared public holiday, signs with days of the week aren’t applicable. For example, if a public holiday falls on a Monday, and the parking restriction is 2P Mon-Fri, then the restriction doesn’t apply.
  • If the parking sign says ‘including public holidays’ or similar, then the restrictions will apply.
  • If there are no days of operation specified on the sign, then the parking restriction applies every day of the year, including public holidays.
  • Most modern ticket machines will indicate if a parking fee isn’t required, but older machines may not.

 See rule 318 of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017.

Car parked across a driveway

Parking across a driveway

Unless you’re dropping off or picking up passengers or stopping in a dedicated parking bay, you shouldn’t park on or across a driveway.

While many people believe their driveway extends from their garage or carport to the roadway, you’re only allowed to park on the part of the driveway within the private property boundary, even if there’s no public footpath to block.

See rule 198 of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017.

Parking caravans, campers, boats and trailers

Registered towable vehicles including caravans, campers and boat/trailers can be parked on the street if the vehicle is under 7.5m in length and less than 4.5 tonnes.

The regular parking rules in the street apply, so if there are no restrictions on parking and you don't park the vehicle illegally, you can park a caravan, camper or boat/trailer on the street just like parking a car.

Larger vehicles over 7.5 metres in length or weighing over 4.5 tonnes can’t be parked on streets in built-up areas for more than one hour.

The only exceptions are if:

  •  parking signs indicate otherwise
  •  the vehicle is actively picking up or dropping off goods.

When a towable vehicle is hitched to a car, the 7.5 metre rules applies to the total length of the two together, so the one-hour restriction on parking applies.

Don’t forget to leave 3 metres clearance for passing vehicles when you park any vehicle.

Parking on a nature strip

Driving or parking on a nature strip in built-up areas isn’t allowed unless you’re entering or leaving a driveway, car park or petrol station where the nature strip is usually paved for this purpose. Other exceptions include driving a ride-on mower to cut grass on the nature strip, driving a motorised wheelchair or a postie delivering the mail.

Sometimes, nature strips adjacent to narrow streets are paved to provide parking bays, so driving or parking on these is ok. However, where the nature strip is just dirt and/or grass (regardless of whether the kerb is stepped, flat or something in between), driving or parking on the grassed nature strip is illegal and could attract a fine.

It’s also important to remember that you must leave at least 3 metres clear for vehicles to pass your parked car when parked on the street.

  • If your street is too narrow for two cars to be parked opposite each other, speak to your neighbours and your local Council to work out a solution.

See rule 318 of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017.

Parking on the wrong side of the road

When parking on the side of a road (including any shoulder), you must face your vehicle in the same direction the traffic is travelling in the lane/line of traffic next to where your vehicle is parked.

  • On a two-way road, park the vehicle parallel and as near as practical to the far-left side of the road, unless parking signs indicate otherwise.
  • On a one-way road, the driver must park the vehicle parallel and as near as practical to the far left or far right side of the road, unless parking signs indicate otherwise.

See rule 208 of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017.

Illustration showing parking opposite dividing lines

Parking opposite dividing lines

Unless parking signs say otherwise, and provided you can leave at least three metres of clear road between the car and the centre dividing line for other cars to pass, you can parallel park opposite:

  • double continuous dividing lines
  • a single continuous dividing line
  • a single continuous line to the left or right of a broken dividing line
  • a dividing strip.

Good to know: a driver can park opposite a broken line without leaving three metres clear between the parked car and the broken dividing line.

See rule 208 of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017.

Stopping in an emergency lane

Unlike no parking zones, these sections prohibit any stopping – even if you’re dropping someone off or picking someone up. You also can’t stop along sections of road marked with a continuous yellow-edge line.

See rule 169 of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017.

The summaries RACV provide on Victorian road rules are based on the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017. We make sure to reference the exact rule where possible. When reading, keep in mind that we’re providing general information, not legal advice. If you’re looking for specific questions on any legal matter, consult with a lawyer for help.