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Can You Park A Motorhome Anywhere UK

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  • Motorhome, campervans
  • Posted date:
  • 06-09-2021
Can You Park A Motorhome Anywhere UK

A common question for motorhome buyers is: Can you park a motorhome anywhere UK? We look at where campervans are allowed to park overnight and rules to follow if you are wild camping in your motorhome.

To own or hire a motorhome comes with a sense of freedom, as you may think you can park anywhere in the UK as long as its not someone's garden. 

But this isn't the case, camping laws in England, Scotland and Wales generally state that it's illegal to park your motorhome on land that is owned by someone (which usually is the case) unless you get permission from the landowner. 

You will, however, be able to park your motorhome or caravan on camping spots and caravan parks around the country; this will come with a fee. 

If you would like to do some motorhome 'wild camping', the best place would be in a rural area, just to be sure look for the nearest building/house to check if they are okay with you staying there. 

Some apps charge a small fee for other travellers and motorhome owners to post and keep updated on where they can stay.

Can You Park A Motorhome Anywhere UK

Sleeping in a motorhome overnight on the street comes with some speculation; the Caravan Sites & Control of Development act covers the 'human habitation' act, which means you may be prohibited to sleep overnight. 

At this moment in time, there are no legislations or laws that stop you from sleeping in your motorhome on the roadside, but the Land Reform act states you must not damage verges and not block entrances to fields or buildings. 

However, highways and laybys are owned by local authorities, so if you are asked to move on by a police officer, you must do so.

Public car parks are also operated by the local authority, and there are Traffic Regulation Orders that prohibit sleeping, camping or cooking in this area.

Where are campervans allowed to park overnight?

Where are campervans allowed to park overnight?

The rules for parking campervans overnight can be a little misleading, there are no specific laws that prohibit it in the Uk, but the local law enforcement and government usually decide if you are allowed or not. 

Unless you are on private land, you most likely won't be asked to move on; this is if you follow the wild camp etiquette too.

If you are looking for free overnight motorhome or campervan parking places, it is best to do some research online first, which will give you good links to websites that include other campervan members or pay for a guide that will give you all the good locations.

Parking overnight in a car park has more rules and regulations; local authority operated car parks are covered by Traffic Regulation Orders and prohibit cooking, camping and sleeping in these areas. 

Some clauses can include maximum weight limits, size limits and the class of the vehicle, which the campervan is most likely to fall under; this would prevent you from using authority operated car parks. 

Your best bet would be to be aware of any signs before parking your campervan in a car park overnight and research the traffic regulation orders for the local authority that applies to you.

If it is a private car park, ask permission from the owners; if there are gates or barriers, do not gain entry by opening these.

Where are campervans allowed to park overnight?

Parking in laybys or on the roadside will normally not bring any problems as long as you are respectful; local authorities do have the right to move you along as you have no 'right' to park the motorhome and camper van anywhere. Still, there is no specific Uk legislation that prohibits you from parking overnight in your motorhome on the roadside or laybys.

The rest of Europe and some other countries tend to be a little more lenient on where they allow caravans and motorhomes to park, often having designated overnight parking, they do tend to limit how long you can stray there, but most of the time, it is up to 48 hours. 

It is also completely legal for a person to permanently live in a caravan or other related vehicles in the Uk and Europe so long as they have the correct documentation.

Some simple rules that you should always follow

Ask for permission- If you are wild camping in your motorhome and are parked in a rural area, it is always best motorhome etiquette to look for the landowner to ask for permission, this will prevent you from running into any troubles, and you should have a peaceful trip. 

Some good tips are not to set up deckchairs or other motorhome resources as this may convince the landowner that you are planning to stay for an extended amount of time on your road trip and are setting up a campsite, the landowner may then take back their permission for you to stay on their land with their services and ask you to leave.

It is common courtesy to arrive late to the site you are camping on and leave as early as possible when you are travelling from site to site; try to only stay sat for one night in one place. This will cause less disruption, and you are less likely to be noticed by anyone.

A very important rule is not to take anything from the land that you are staying on, only pictures to remember your time during your motorhome travel. 

Make sure there is no waste left behind and use the toilet in your motorhome or the nearest facilities to where you are staying. If you prefer going outside in a rural area without going into too much detail, don't do your business anywhere near natural streams or rivers. 

If you are unsure of where to dispose of the waste or if the campsites do not provide recycling bins, separate your plastics and cardboard and food and take them to the nearest recycling centre.

It is best not to light a campfire as it could damage the land you are on or potentially cause a disastrous fire; if you are on a campsite and they provide wood, then you will be allowed to have a campfire here.

Parking spots in a less built-up area will make you less noticeable (especially if there is a group of you) and means you most likely won't be causing an obstruction. 

If you are parking on a residential street that is not your own, your motorhome will take up parking spaces for the residents of the street, and you may be blocking views from people's windows, this can lead to a lot of complaints, and you may be asked by local authorities to move on.

If you are staying in a very rural area in your motorhome or caravan, you will most likely spot animals or be surrounded by an assortment of trees and plants. Don't disturb any nests or harm any animals, and don't destroy any of the scenery during your overnight stays.

Can you park a motorhome on your drive?

Can you park a motorhome on your drive?

Unless there is a clause in your title deeds that specifically exclude motorhome parking on your drive, then you absolutely can park your motorhome on your drive. 

There are a few things to consider, firstly to keep peace with your neighbours and to have easy access to your house. Firstly, ensure that your motorhome isn't blocking your neighbour's views or restricting light on their premises; it is a good idea to also check in with your neighbours and ask if they don't mind a large motorhome on their street. 

If your neighbours are being unreasonable and do object, there is nothing they can do, if there is a clause in the deeds prohibiting you from parking your motorhome in your driveway, your neighbours could take you to court, but this would cost a lot of money and will most likely ruin the relationship, so its best to not let it get to that point.

Is your drive big enough? You can't have your motorhome obstructing the pathway for pedestrians, and you also want to have easy access to your house, be sure to check this. 

If you have a narrow street with cars parked on both sides of the road, it will be very tricky for you to enter and leave your driveway with a clear view; maybe consider widening your drive if you are committed to parking your motorhome there.

Can you sleep in a motorhome on the street?

Due to there being no specific laws against sleeping in your motorhome on the roadside, it is not illegal, so you won't get arrested for doing so; there are, however, general rules that campers follow to keep the peace. 

These are to not cause obstruction, arrive late and leave early, don't stay longer than two days, don't disturb anyone and clean up after yourself. That being said, if you are told by local authorities to move along, you have no choice but to find somewhere else to park your motorhome and sleep for the night. 

If you decide to park your motorhome in a heavily built-up residential area, you will be more noticeable and more likely to be a problem for the residents in the area as you are taking up more space than the average car, try and find a quiet and more remote street, this way you are less likely to have problems. 

Also, search for any signposts that prohibit campervan overnight parking and make sure the person driving the motorhome is not over the alcohol limit; if you are asked to move on, you will need to drive the vehicle to another location legally. Your motorhome must also be taxed and insured and hold a current MOT certificate.

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