Double & Single Yellow Line Parking: A Guide

Single and double yellow lines indicate whether or not you can park on any particular stretch of road.  This is something you will learn when you are a learner driver but it’s good to refresh your knowledge on the highway code every so often, even as an experienced driver.

Can I Park on Single Yellow Lines?

Single yellow lines mean that parking is restricted during certain hours, or on certain days. Where you see single yellow lines on the road, there should also be a sign nearby indicating the restricted hours. In most cases the restricted hours will be “peak hours” – usually between 8am and 6pm, so you would be able to park outside of these hours.  However, these times may differ so you should always check the nearby sign before parking.

Can I Park on Single Yellow Lines on Sundays?

In some places, you can park all day on single yellow lines on Sundays. But this is not an absolute rule. In particularly busy areas you’ll find strict parking restrictions throughout the week. So never assume you can park on single yellow lines just because it’s a Sunday, or a bank holiday.

Be sure to check the sign for local restrictions before you park.

Can I Park on Double Yellow Lines?

Double yellow lines indicate that there’s no stopping. You cannot park on double yellow lines at any time. But there is an exception to this rule. If you have a Blue Badge you can park on double yellow lines for a maximum of three hours.

The only stipulation is that you clearly display your Blue Badge, and that you don’t cause any obstructions by parking. This is the only exception. If you don’t have a Blue Badge, you cannot park on double yellow lines. Ever.

How Long Can You Stop on a Yellow Line?

Even during restricted hours, it’s sometimes possible to stop temporarily on a single yellow line. By “stop”, we don’t mean “park”. You can usually pull up to pick up or drop off a passenger. You may also be able to wait for a few minutes while you load or unload your car.

However, with single yellow lines, it’s still important to check the signs for local restrictions. They might indicate that there’s no stopping at any time during the restricted hours. If so, you can safely assume that you cannot stop at all – not even for a few seconds.

Some drivers pull up temporarily on double yellow lines – again, to pick up or drop off passengers, or to load or unload their car. It’s best to assume, though, that there’s no stopping anywhere on roads marked with double yellow lines.

Also look out for vertical yellow lines on the edge of the kerb. These indicate that there’s no stopping whatsoever on that particular stretch of road. If these lines are single, then there’ll be a sign nearby explaining the restrictions, and any times when they don’t apply. But if the lines are double, then the restrictions are in place around the clock.

Can I Stop or Park on Red Lines?

Red lines unambiguously mean that you cannot stop, wait or park for any reason, for any length of time. Single red lines, like single yellow lines, have operating hours. Outside of these, you can park, stop or load. But during these restricted hours, you cannot stop at all – not even for a few seconds, to pick someone up.

What Do Double Red Lines Mean?

Double red lines mean there’s no stopping for any reason, for any length of time, ever. You can stop to pick up or drop off a Blue Badge holder on roads with single and double red lines. But you must clearly display your Blue Badge, and you must move off promptly. You cannot hang around, and you certainly cannot park!

What Are The Penalties For Parking on Single or Double Yellow or Red Lines?

If you park where you shouldn’t, you’ll get a Penalty Charge Notice. This is a fine, and the amount you have to pay will depend on where you got your ticket. Fines are usually much higher for parking offences in London, for instance.

You have 28 days to pay a Penalty Charge Notice, though you can usually get a 50% discount if you pay within 14 days.

You don’t usually get penalty points on your licence with parking offences. That means that parking on double yellow lines won’t affect the price of your car insurance. However, some parking offences result in Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs). Some parking-related FPNs do come with penalty points. For example, you can get 3 points on your licence for “leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position,” or for obstructing a pedestrian crossing with your parked car.

You can also get a parking ticket if you park on private land. Find out what to do with a private ticket with our detailed guide to private parking tickets.


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