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Thread: Working on your car in the street

  1. #1
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    Default Working on your car in the street

    Hello everybody,

    I'm currently living in Austria and need to do some work to my car which will take about 4 hours. I'm in the centre of Vienna and have my car parked in a free spot at the side of the road near my house.

    I am wondering whether I am legally allowed to work on my car in the road. It will involve taking wheels off and having it on axle stands for about 3 hours so will be immobile, but not blocking anyone more than if it was just parked there normally. Does anyone know the legalities of it in the UK (which I could use to compare to Austria) or even the legalities in Austria?

    Cheers.

  2. #2
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    It is certainly legal to do it in the UK, so long as you are not going into business repairing cars on the street. Is it likely that, in three hours, you will be reported to the authorities and they will respond?

    I am also intrigued to know what it is that involves taking ALL the wheels off at once?

  3. #3
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    So you are assuming that it is illegal by suggesting I'd probably be reported?

    I'm going to take the front two wheels off so that I can change one wheel bearing, one hub and both drive shafts.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa View Post
    It is certainly legal to do it in the UK, so long as you are not going into business repairing cars on the street
    As a mobile mechanic, I have been reported for repairing cars at the roadside. The legislation is contained in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/16/contents

    So long as you are not blocking the road (Highways Act - obstruction), on yellow lines or similar and the work is temporary - up to 72 hours i.e. not jacked up and left for a week, then you are in the UK at least, okay to do the work you have outlined. However, if you have a problem and then leave the car on stands for more than 3 days, you could be in trouble. This act is enforced by the local council in the UK.

    Mobile mechanics and breakdown companies are exempt from most of the legislation which was introduced by my own MP of all people!
    Last edited by Hometune; 14-05-13 at 13:35.

  5. #5
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    That's very useful to know, thank you Hometune!

  6. #6
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    Quote..." As a mobile mechanic, I have been reported for repairing cars at the roadside."

    Years ago when I worked at one of the oil construction sites working long hours seven days a week, we had a local mobile mechanic who used to come and repair our cars while they were in the car park.

    It was great for us, as being subcontractors we all had long distances to travel home, on our monthly weekend off.

    He was great, and never turned any job down, we used to give him a phone, then leave our keys at the main gate, where he pick them up, and return them when he was done, it was a good deal all round.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lomasadams View Post
    So you are assuming that it is illegal by suggesting I'd probably be reported?

    I'm going to take the front two wheels off so that I can change one wheel bearing, one hub and both drive shafts.
    No - I am saying that I have no idea what the law is in Austria.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa View Post
    No - I am saying that I have no idea what the law is in Austria.
    Nor have I!!!

    The landlady of the pub opposite reported me for servicing and repairing a couple of cars outside my house. One was the previous landlord of the same pub and the other was a neighbour form a few doors away. She also reported me to the Health and Safety executive as she considered my work to be dangerous to passers-by.
    The over zealous council threatened me with legal enforcement and 2 officious officials came to see me. The act had only just come into force and they were unaware of the breakdown/mobile mechanic part so after a heated discussion they went away telling me my business would have to cease (EU law protects you but they did not have a clue). I contacted my MP and then discovered she was instrumental in bringing this act into being. She took up my case with the council and they have left me alone ever since. In all the years (15) I have been doing this now, only 2 neighbours of a customer have complained about my work. In both cases the neighbours had a history of issues with the customer.

    The law was introduced to stop the situation where cars were sitting on bricks for weeks on end, mainly on run down council estates and not to deter people from carrying out minor work at the roadside.

  9. #9
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    When I was with the AA, there was a particular person who would come out and start shouting the odds about working in 'his' street. Never found out what his problem was, but soon discovered that nobody in the street got on with him. I was told he used to carry on the same way with RAC and garages called to attend breakdowns.
    He came out one night to complain, and, as it happens, I was parked outside his house. I turned the engine, beacons, hazards and radio on and he called the Police. When they attended I explained to them that as he had complained, I had to comply with H & S Regs which meant having it all on. They had a word with him, I turned everything off, and he never bothered me again, although he would still come out and when he saw it was me, he would go back in again.

  10. #10
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    Some people do get bees in their bonnets about stuff. I once had a neighbour who did not have a car. Both our houses had drives and garages and we had two cars which we parked on our drive. When we had a visitor they would park on the road outside our house, but if there was a fourth car they would park, naturally, on the street outside his house. He would then come round and complain about it. He even called the police once and they politely told him what we had been saying all along, that he had no 'rights' over that space.

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