Parking and stopping

Know the rules, avoid fines

Finding a car park can be difficult, and sometimes the parking signs are complex to read. Knowing the rules for where you can and can’t park
will help you find the right car park and avoid a fine.

Clearways

A driver must not stop on a road where a clearway sign applies.

Taxis and public buses may stop on a road where a clearway applies provided they are picking up or dropping off passengers.

Many clearway zones allow for vehicles left in the clearway to be towed away.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 176.

RACV advice on clearways

No parking

A ‘No Parking’ sign means that drivers must not stop in the area indicated by the sign unless they are dropping off or picking up passengers or goods. While stopped in a ‘No Parking’ zone drivers are not permitted to leave the vehicle unattended, which means they must remain within 3 metres of the vehicle. The driver must complete their task and drive on as soon as possible, within the time limit.

Unless the signs say otherwise, the time limit for stopping is two minutes.

If the time indicated on the sign is less than five minutes, or no time is indicated, drivers with a disabled parking permit may stop for twice the allowed time.

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

No stopping

A ‘No Stopping’ sign mean that drivers must not stop in the area shown by the arrows on the sign, even if they are picking up or dropping off passengers. Similarly, drivers must not stop along sections of road marked with a continuous yellow edge line. Where older ‘No Standing’ signs are being phased out, but they have the same meaning as ‘No Stopping’.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 169.

Parking across a driveway

A driver must not stop on or across a driveway or access way for vehicles travelling to or from land next to the road unless the driver is dropping off, or picking up, passengers or the driver stops in a parking bay as permitted under the Road Rules.

If picking up or dropping off passengers, the driver must not leave the vehicle unattended, and must complete dropping off, or picking up, the passengers and drive on as soon as possible, but within 2 minutes of stopping.

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

Van parking across a driveway

The key thing to remember is that paths are there for a reason, and no part of your vehicle should be parked over it.

Able bodied pedestrians may be able to squeeze past in the remaining space, but people with prams, children on bicycles, wheelchair users and the vision impaired will need the full width of unimpeded footpath to get by safely.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 198.

Parking caravans, campers, boats and trailers

Under the road rules, a caravan, camper or trailer is classified as a vehicle. 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 provided you don't park the vehicle illegally, you can park a caravan, camper or boat/trailer on the street just like parking a motor vehicle.

Larger vehicles over 7.5 metres in length or weighing over 4.5 tonnes cannot be parked on streets in built-up areas for more than 1 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 public holidays

Parking restrictions on public holidays vary depending on the additional restriction information on the parking signs.

The Road Rules state that on a declared public holiday, signs which apply to specific days of the week are not applicable. For example, if a public holiday falls on a Monday, and the parking restriction is 2P Mon-Fri, then the restriction does not apply.

Similarly, other signs which restrict parking (i.e. Loading Zone Mon-Fri) or impose other restrictions (i.e. turn bans) would also not apply.

If the parking sign has words to the effect of ‘including public holidays’, then the restrictions on the sign will apply.

If there are no days of operation specified on the sign, i.e. 2P, then the parking restriction applies every day of the year, including public holidays.

Most modern ticket machines will indicate if a parking fee is not required on a particular day. However, older style machines may not. In a paid parking area, on a public holiday you are only required to pay if the sign has no days of operation stated or specifically includes public holidays.

The most important thing to remember is always check the parking signs before leaving your vehicle.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 318.

Parking on a nature strip

The road rules generally prohibit driving or parking on a nature strip in a built-up area unless you are entering or leaving adjacent property (such as a driveway, car park or petrol station), where the nature strip is usually paved for this purpose. Other exceptions also include driving a ride-on mower that is cutting 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 – driving or parking on these is acceptable. However, where the nature strip is just dirt and/or grass, regardless of whether the kerb is stepped (barrier kerb), flat (mountable kerb) or something in between, or even where there is no kerb: driving or parking on the grassed nature strip is illegal and could attract a fine. 

In complying with the rule about not parking on nature strips, it is equally important to note that you must leave at least 3 metres clear for vehicles to pass your parked car. If your street is too narrow for two cars to be parked opposite each other on the street, speak to your neighbours and/or your local Council to work out a solution.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 318.

Parking on the wrong side of the road

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

If the road is a two-way road, the driver must park the vehicle parallel and as near as practical to the far left side of the road, unless parking signs indicate otherwise.

If the road is 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.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 208.

Parking opposite dividing lines

Unless parking signs show otherwise, and provided there is at least three metres of clear road between the car and the centre dividing line for other cars to pass, a driver 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.

If you cannot leave at least three metres between your vehicle and the line markings above, don’t park there unless signs allow it.

However a driver is permitted to park opposite a broken line without leaving three metres clear between the parked car and the broken dividing line.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 208.

Parking opposite a centre dividing line

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 each particular type of vehicle as 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 can only be used by drivers whose vehicle displays 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 by drivers of postal vehicles.

Drivers must not stop in a loading zone unless they are driving:

  • a bus, commercial passenger vehicle, taxi or a truck (which has a gross vehicle mass over 4.5 tonnes)  that is dropping off, or picking up, passengers; or
  • a vehicle constructed mainly for carrying loads (i.e. not a sedan, station wagon or motor bike) that is dropping off, or picking up, goods and displaying an identifying label approved by VicRoads, or
  • a hire vehicle that has seating for 10 to 12 adults including the driver that is dropping off or picking up passengers, or
  • 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 affixed (i.e. not magnetically) onto the body of the vehicle.

Other drivers must not stop in a loading zone, even if loading or unloading passengers or goods.

A time limit of 30 minutes applies to loading zones unless signs indicate otherwise.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rules 179 to 186.

Stopping in an emergency lane

Stopping on a motorway is not allowed unless you stop in the emergency stopping lane. 

Stopping in an emergency stopping lane is only allowed when the condition of the driver, a passenger or the vehicle makes it necessary in the interests of safety and the driver stops for no longer than is necessary. 

Don’t use the emergency stopping lane to change drivers or take a break – stop well off the road, ideally at a rest area. Do not stop in an emergency stopping lane to answer your mobile phone – this is generally not considered an emergency.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 178.