You’ll need to think carefully about where you stop or park your passenger-carrying vehicle (PCV) to make sure it will be safe, legal and will not cause an obstruction to other road users.
Whenever you stop or park your PCV, make sure the place you choose is
- safe – could it cause an accident by being too close to a junction or a zebra crossing?
- secure – is there a risk of theft or vandalism?
- convenient – you’re more likely to cause damage, either to your vehicle or another vehicle, if it’s an awkward spot
- legal – check The Highway Code for more information on parking rules (GOV.UK).
The blind spots around a large vehicle can make it difficult to reverse so, if possible, choose a parking place you can drive into forwards, and where you can also drive out forwards.
If your vehicle has air suspension, remember that it may move when you park it or when you start it: make sure you’re not parked too close to other vehicles, buildings, street furniture, etc, which the vehicle body could collide with if it moves.
When you’ve parked the vehicle, you must turn off
- the headlights
- the fog lights (if fitted)
- the engine.
You must not park a PCV on a verge, pavement or on land separating carriageways unless you’ve been given permission by the police. Avoid parking on a grass verge: the weight of the vehicle could damage the verge and it may collapse, which could mean your vehicle gets stuck or rolls over.
If you’re parking at night on a road, you must use the parking lights on your vehicle. You do not need to use lights if you’re parked off-road, eg in a coach park.
In foggy weather, you should avoid parking on the road; if you must park on the road, leave your parking lights on.
Parking on a hill
When you’re parking on a hill, you can use the wheels and the engine to make sure your PCV cannot roll away in case the parking brake fails.
- Turn the steering wheels slightly towards the kerb: if the vehicle rolls, it will steer into the kerb and stop.
- Leave the vehicle in gear: if the parking brake fails, the engine should stop the wheels turning. (This only applies to a vehicle with manual gears.)
Preventing falls from the vehicle
Many people are injured by falling from vehicles each year. To minimise the risk of falling
- open the door fully, use grab rails and all the steps
- do not jump from the vehicle: use the steps provided, making sure they’re safe to use
- wear suitable footwear for the job
- make sure steps and work areas are well lit.
When you’re getting out of your vehicle, make sure you check your mirrors before opening any doors. Watch out for other road users, particularly cyclists and motorcyclists, when opening a door on to the road, and for pedestrians when opening a door on to the pavement. If you’re parked on the left-hand side of a busy road, it may be best to use the passenger door to get out to avoid obstructing traffic or putting yourself at risk.
Different types of vehicle will have different security and anti-theft systems. Check your vehicle handbook for information about the systems fitted to it, and find out from the vehicle operator whether there is any extra equipment provided to keep the vehicle safe.
When you’re leaving a vehicle unattended, make sure
- it’s locked
- there are no passengers on board
- passengers have not left anything on board, except in locked compartments
- any fitted anti-theft devices are set.
Before you leave your vehicle, make sure the engine has stopped, the ignition system is switched off and the parking brake is on.
Always do a walkaround check on your vehicle when you return to it, to make sure it has not been entered or tampered with. If you see anything suspicious, call the police and tell your employer.