Original article from Kent Live
Parking can be the bane of driving at the best of times, and that's no different here in Kent.
Chances are, you've had at least a few instances struggling to find a space on the road, especially by places like schools and post offices.
Sometimes this can extend to your own street, and you could be forced to park a few roads away and walk back home.
So for many who are lucky enough to have the money and space, you may be best off putting a driveway in your front garden if you don't already have one.
Of course, moments of desperation call and you could find someone blocking your driveway as their last resort.
But what if something potentially even worse happens, and you arrive home or look outside your window to see a stranger actually parked on your driveway?
Unfortunately there's not much you can actually do, and the limited options you do have can be costly.
The parking problems may be about to get a lot worse as the lockdown continues to lift, with the 'stay at home' order disappearing from next Monday (March 29) and groups of six able to meet outdoors, while sports like tennis and football can continue.
And it's only downhill from there in a parking perspective when shops and restaurants reopen on April 12.
With an impending influx of cars on the road and, more importantly, cars looking for a parking space, we're looking at what the law says about people parking on your driveway.
It could actually leave you out of pocket
If we ever came home to find somebody else parked on our driveway, most of us would just assume that we could call the police or the council to sort it out, but it's actually far more complicated than that.
The worst bit, though, is that it could leave you, the homeowner, out of pocket, as you'd have to fund the legal costs of getting the car removed, according to the Mirror.
The line between criminal and civil law is blurred, meaning that in some situations people may discover that the police and council are unable to take action.
If the car was parked on the street, therefore blocking your driveway, it's public land so the council could do something about it.
But if they are parked on your driveway, it is private land so the council have no jurisdiction.
If it's an abandoned car you should be alright, but if it's taxed and insured they probably won't be able to do anything about it.
So, surely the police can do something?
It's technically trespassing, but as that's a civil offence you'll need to go to court to get an eviction notice.
You would need to get a lawyer who would have to track down the owner, and once the judge has given permission the court could then possibly take action to move it.
As you can imagine, all of this doesn't come cheap and it certainly wouldn't happen right away.
It means the homeowner could have to put up with the car for days or even weeks – and be left with a hefty bill at the end of it all.
Where's the help?
A Bristol resident found themselves in this situation in 2019 when someone parked on their driveway for five days.
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They demanded the police, council or DVLA did something – but nobody did.
At the time, the Bristol Post reported that the frustrated resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the police or authorities couldn't help and denied responsibility.
Nobody knows whether the motor was left in someone else's driveway deliberately or mistakenly. It was legal, taxed, insured, and had had its MOT.
A spokesperson for the council said: "Bristol City Council will investigate abandoned vehicles parked on public land or highway, but not on private land.
"In order to be classified as abandoned the vehicle also needs to be untaxed for at least one month and left in the same location for a significant amount of time. There's more information on the reporting process on our website.
The police refused to comment, but explained that the moment a car crosses onto your property, technically, trespassing has taken place. But it's a civil offence and holds no bearing in criminal law.