Yellow lines and parking: a comprehensive guide

Yellow lines and parking: a comprehensive guide
When you are driving across the UK, finding somewhere to park can be a challenge. What's more, to add to the confusion, there are different rules for parking on single and double yellow lines to contend with

To help you understand road markings and signs (and avoid getting a fixed penalty notice) we have put together a comprehensive guide that explains the rules for drivers when it comes to parking. 

If you need help with single and double yellow lines in the UK, read on.

Yellow parking lines and signs meaning

As a general rule, parking on yellow lines in the UK is prohibited. This is for road safety and traffic flow reasons.

However, there are exceptions where drivers can leave their car on yellow lines – but this comes with certain time and location restrictions.

Double Line

You must not park or wait on double yellow lines -  it is largely prohibited to park on them at any time.

There may be signs that indicate other local rules, but if you see double yellow lines, do not park on them.

Double yellow line parking exceptions are sometimes in place for Blue Badge holders, but this will depend on the rules for the local authority (so always cbeck before parking). 

Occasionally, van and heavy goods vehicles can stop on double yellow lines to load/unload, but again you will need to check this with the local authority as these rules can vary across the UK.

Single Line

Single yellow lines indicate different parking restrictions for drivers – depending on the type of road and time of day.

If there is no sign, then the time you can park on single yellows is determined by the local council. This is normally during peak driving hours. This means that you can park for as long as you like outside of these timings. However, if there is a sign, then it will give drivers specific instructions on when are where they can park.

Rules for parking on yellow lines

Driving in the UK comes with many rules that drivers need to adhere to at all times.

This also applies to yellow lines and parking. Below are a few key questions that drivers tend to ask on this topic.

Can you park on a single yellow line at the weekend?

This largely depends on whether there is a sign associated with the single yellow lines. If there isn’t a sign, then you cannot park on them.

However, this can vary depending on the location rules. Speak to your local council to find out more.

If there is a sign, it will give you details on when you can or can’t park on single yellow lines.

Can you park on single yellow lines on bank holidays?

Leaving your vehicle on single yellow lines without knowing the rules could lead to a parking fine and your car being clamped.

This depends on the area where you are parking. Some regions allow you to park on single yellow lines on bank holidays – but the vast majority do not allow this.

Can you park on double yellow lines with a Blue Badge?

If you have a valid Blue Badge – or a disabled parking permit – then you may be allowed to park on double yellow lines.

The Blue Badge rules for parking on single or double yellow lines are be issued by the local council, so check with them before you set off on your next car journey.

There are normally time limits to when you can park on these, even with a badge. Drivers with a badge should not obstruct other road users or leave their vehicle in a dangerous location.

Can you park on double yellow lines for any other reason?

Yes, you can park on double yellow lines when you are dropping of passengers or unloading/loading goods into a vehicle.

However, these should only be for very short time periods and where it is safe to do so.

How long can you park on yellow lines for?

If there is a sign next to the single yellow lines, it will tell you the time frame (and limit) for parking.

However, if you are parking on double yellow lines, then you have a maximum of 20 minutes to load/unload the goods from the vehicle of pick up/drop off passengers.

Can you wait on double yellow lines?

Yes, you can wait on double yellow lines – but only if it is safe to do so and only for a very short period of time.

Drivers cannot block traffic or be in a dangerous situation.

Local rules may differ, so check with your local authority on the parking rules in your town and city.

If you have any questions about yellow lines or parking in the UK, please leave them in the comments section below.

Do you want to learn more about driving in the UK?

To prepare for the theory test, an app like Driving Theory Test UK is a great place to start, with all necessary learning materials, hazard perception clips and Highway Code info included. You can download it here:

MyRAC-google-play-store MyRAC-app-store

RAC Breakdown Cover

RAC Breakdown Cover

Complete peace of mind for just £7 a month.

*Price reduced on vehicle based Basic cover on 16/02/24.

RAC Breakdown Cover