How Can You Stop Neighbors from Using Your Driveway?

How Can You Stop Neighbors from Using Your Driveway?

Neighborhoods are mostly lively places sometimes with caring neighbors and lots of nice new friends.

However, the biggest source of conflicts in most neighborhoods is never about whose pets are the noisiest but rather, who keeps locking another person away from their own parking slot on the driveway.

So How Can You Stop Neighbors From Using Your Driveway?

There are numerous ways. Here are a few:

1. Start by Talking to The Neighbor (with Skills)

This is probably the simplest and quickest way to stop anyone from leaving a car on your driveway, but it needs skills because you’re probably annoyed already.

First off, cool down. Then collect yourself. Now follow this procedure:

Step 1

Walk to your neighbor’s compound and start a story completely unrelated to this violation, say, a topic about football or why it’s never a good idea to put pineapple on pizza.

Then, politely ask them to stop parking their car on your driveway.

Most people will take it kindly and stop it immediately.

If you are unable to approach them this way for some reasons, proceed with step 2:

Step 2

Jot down a “friendly” note and stick it on their car’s window while it’s parked on your driveway.

Something like this:

“Hi neighbor (you’re not buddies), this’s a PRIVATE driveway! I will tow your car next time!”

Most people will take this kind of note a bit seriously and stop it.

2. Put Up a Sign and Traffic Cones to Keep All Cars Away

You will be surprised with how a simple “No Parking” sign can be effective especially if you accompany it with a few traffic cones to add emphasis.

Only the rudest individuals or random crooks would ignore the sign and knock the cones to park their car on your driveway.

Deterrent parking signs are effective most of the time but don’t just put up a random sign.

The sign should meet a few standards when installed in a non-residential or private driveway:

Place your sign close to the entrance of your parking driveway.

Ensure that the sign is visible and clear, away from barriers.

Fortunately, you can buy a readymade “No Parking” sign from your local car accessories and repair shop:

It is one of the most effective deterrents you could use to keep unwanted cars away from your driveway.

Most truck or car owners will stop parking their vehicles in your driveway, fearing their vehicles could end up getting towed or even fined.

Traffic cones can be an effective deterrent as well, either on their own or together with a sign.


3. Install A Few Security Cameras to Ward Off Unwanted Cars

Have you ever seen a security camera glaring at you and immediately felt the need to watch your behavior? It’s perfectly normal – most people don’t like to be watched and followed closely.

Security cameras are highly effective to stop people from blocking your driveway while preventing vandalism and car theft.

Even better, you can use security cameras to record videos of people blocking your driveway, and later use these videotapes as pieces of evidence during the investigation if need be.

With the hard evidence in your hands, the neighbors who have previously blocked your driveway can’t deny their violations.

Remember to put up a clear sticker depicting the dreaded ”24/7 video surveillance on this block” note.

Many people wouldn’t dare park their cars on a driveway that’s under CCTV surveillance – they know they are being recorded.


4. Call the Towing Company to Help Stop Strangers Blocking Your Driveway

At this point, you are having none of it. You’ve probably talked to the neighbor and tried to reach an agreement without success.

If the car is still parked in your driveway (or it has been there for ages now), your last resort or the most practical method to get your space back might be to contact your local towing company and have the parked car removed.

But you could also ask: Is it even legal to tow an illegally parked vehicle on my private space? It can depend.

The following situations are conditions when vehicles will be legally removed by towing from private property without the need of leveling a charge (according to Washington State Law. Check what your local laws say).

1). When a vehicle is parked illegally in a residential area: it can be removed by towing at once.

2). If the vehicle is determined to be blocking your non-residential or private property with a clear ”No Parking” sign on it: you can hire the tow company to get rid of it immediately and place it elsewhere.

3). When the vehicle is parked for any length of time in a non-residential and driveway without a visible sign on it: it can only be towed away after 24 hours.

As you can see, you probably don’t have all the rights to simply tow the stranger’s/neighbor’s car any time you want – different regions have different codes in place to address different scenarios.

Do not forget to note down the license plate and other related details if you plan to deal with the issue soon.

It could be the last resort for you, and probably the most effective method to prevent unauthorized vehicles from blocking your space.

5. Contact the Authorities and/or Police

If someone parks their vehicle in your driveway, or roadwork is blocking access and usage of the driveway, you can contact any relevant authority including the police.

A good example is when someone parks right in the entrance that leads into your driveway (they didn’t really park in your driveway or private property), which blocks your car to get out or in. You can also call the cops for help because the person is still at fault.

Please note that in this and similar circumstances, chances are very low that you will be allowed to hire the towing service to remove the vehicle since it is not on your private property.

The only thing the police could do is ticket the car before towing it away themselves, which can save you all the hustle you’d have to go through to remove the car.

If your home is located close to a school or church, you can decide to contact the school administrators or the church’s management when cars affiliated with them end up parked in your driveway, illegally.

Since the laws guarding the removal of vehicles in different areas can vary, it is advisable that you familiarize yourself with your local area’s codes before taking any action.

6. Paint A Clear Line for The Driveway

If it becomes habitual – you always find someone blocking your driveway with their car– and you want to avoid the bad blood that comes with involving the authorities (maybe you know the person), a clear line might help.

Consider painting a big obvious line to mark the borders of your driveway just to remind people to stay away from it.

You wondering how? Follow these 3 easy steps:

Step 1

Start by contacting the city or town building department to conduct a survey of the driveway and find out if it’s in your private property.

Your local department will provide a letter that it is a valid drive. This is normally done for free.

Step 2

Make a copy of your letter and send it to the local parking authority who should undertake or authorize the line.

Step 3

Get your yellow street paint, prepare the area, and paint a clear marked-off area, complete with a label reading “TOW AWAY ZONE” in the middle.

Anyone driving around will get a hint that they are not permitted to park there.

7. Install A Gate and Keep All Stranger’s Cars at Bay

Lastly, you can prevent other people from blocking your driveway simply by restricting access to your private drive with a gate if the situation allows.

Have a strong grilled gate installed where the drive or however you see fit (and if your local laws permit). Proceed to lock it with a padlock.

If an intruder breaks into your property and parks their car on the driveway after you have locked the gate, that qualifies as a crime of some kind.

You can contact the police and provide the videotapes you recorded with your security cameras.


Conclusion

Talking to your neighbor about this issue is probably the simplest and quickest way to stop them from leaving a car on your driveway.

Also, you will be surprised with how a simple “No Parking” sign can be effective especially if you accompany it with a few traffic cones to add emphasis.

Only the rudest individuals or random crooks would ignore the sign and knock the cones to park their car on your driveway.

Security cameras too comes handy when trying to stop people from blocking your driveway.

The best thing about security cameras is that they prevent vandalism and car theft while warding off illegal parkers.

Your last resort can be to contact your local towing company and have the parked car removed. Alternative, you can contact any relevant authority including the police.

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