Bad parking habits

Parking wars

Half of UK drivers confess to bad parking habits

15 October 2019

  • One third have parked on double yellow lines
  • Millennials are biggest culprits for using disabled spaces and resident’s parking 
  • 69% Blue Badge holders struggle to find parking
  • AA says inconsiderate drivers risk big fines if caught 
  • cars parked along residential street

    New research by the AA has revealed that half of UK drivers are parking in spaces that they are not entitled to.

    In a survey of 19,000 drivers1. 48% admitted that they had parked somewhere they were not entitled to. Just over half of men (52%) and two in five women (42%) said they had done so.

    The most common admission was parking on double yellow lines. More than one third of drivers had parked on them (34%). Two in five men admitted to ignoring the yellow road markings (39%) and one quarter of women said they had done so too (26%).

    Millennials (25-34s) topped the polls with two fifths saying they had parked on double yellows (39%), closely followed by young drivers (18-24s, 38%). 

    In the survey, 8% of drivers said they had used a disabled parking space when they were not entitled to. One in ten Millennials said they had parked in a Blue Badge bay (10%) whereas only 7% of older drivers said they had done so (55-64; 65+).

    The number of people confessing to parking where they know they are not entitled highlights a growing concern at the lack of parking spaces for the nation’s cars.

    Disabled bays are vital to the mobility and freedom of Blue Badge holders
    Edmund King, AA president

    Edmund King, AA president said: “Drivers risk huge fines if they are caught using parking spaces they are not entitled to. “It’s thoughtless to park in areas that have restrictions like double yellow lines or permits and these behaviours can also land drivers with a hefty fine.”

    “Disabled bays are vital to the mobility and freedom of Blue Badge holders and there’s no excuse whatsoever to use them without the right permissions. Likewise parking in family parking spaces without the family is totally anti-social.”

    Drivers from the West Midlands were most likely to use disabled spaces they were not entitled to (10%), with drivers from Northern Ireland at the bottom of the table (6%).

    Two thirds of Blue Badge users surveyed2 said they struggled to find a parking space when they needed one (69%) and one in six had gotten into arguments with drivers parking incorrectly in a disabled bay (18%).

    The latest figures show that 4.2% of the population in England hold a Blue Badge3. The North East held the most Blue Badges as a proportion of their population (5.1%). London ranked as the region with the lowest proportion (2.7%) and also had the lowest proportion of retired people.

    The number of Blue Badges issued in the UK is set to rise following a recent government announcement to extend the eligibility criteria. The changes will benefit thousands of people with ‘hidden disabilities’, such as anxiety disorders or brain injuries4 

    Resident’s permit zones were another big target, as 17% of drivers admitted to using a resident’s space. The biggest culprits were Millennials once again, as one quarter (28%) said they had nabbed a space meant for a local. 

    One in four Londoners admitted to stealing a resident’s space (28%), whilst the least likely to do so were honest drivers in the East and West Midlands (both 13%).

    Only 14% of drivers said they had sneaked into a family and child space before. One sixth of middle-aged drivers (45-54s) use the spaces which allow for easy access to passenger seats. 

    AA members can find and plan routes to car parks using the free AA app; which can also be used to check traffic updates, find the cheapest fuel, report a breakdown and get exclusive discounts.

    Media contact: AA Press Office, 01256 495969 or [email protected]

    1. Populus received 19,350 responses from AA members to its online poll between 16th to 24th April 2019. Populus is a member of the British Polling Society and abides by its rules.

    2. All respondents who have a Blue Badge or who drive regularly for someone who has a Blue Badge.

    3. Department for Transport Blue Badge Statistics

    4. Government release 30 August 2019.

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