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What is Double Parking?

March 1, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

Drivers often wonder about double parking, its legality, and why people do it. Understanding this practice can help you avoid fines and penalties.

Double parking describes a situation where a vehicle parks beside another parked car on the side of the road, in a street, garage, or parking stall. While state laws might differ, double parking is illegal and can result in towing or huge fines in most cases.

Most drivers double park when parking spaces are limited, or they can’t find an open space within their required time frame. This is common in busy areas with limited parking spaces, such as shopping centers and densely populated neighborhoods.

While you can consider double parking as an option if you need to deliver something in a rush, have it at the back of your mind that there’s a high chance of getting fined or penalized if caught.


Although this action may be considered if you need to deliver something in a rush, the chances of attracting huge fines to yourself are high. Although these laws differ from state to state and country inclusive, you must understand your state’s traffic laws to get into trouble.

In this article, we will explain what double parking means and provide possible reasons why people double park.

What is Double Parking?

Double parking means illegally parking your car next to a legally parked vehicle in a stall, garage, or on the roadside.

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This is a problem that affects many cities and towns around the world, causing traffic congestion, parking space wastage, reduced visibility, and can even result in accidents when done on the roadside.

From personal experience, double parking prevents the legally parked car from exiting, especially when another car is parked at its side.

Double parking can occur in different forms, some of which are discussed below:

  • There’s a case when a double driver parks next to a parked car and leaves their car running while they quickly attend to a service.
  • In another case, a driver double parks next to a parked car and leaves their vehicle unattended, usually for a more extended period.
  • There’s a case when delivery trucks or vans park alongside a curb, blocking traffic flow while making deliveries.
  • There’s a last case when a driver stops their car in a no-parking zone to drop off passengers or goods.

While it’s illegal to double park in most states, there could be an exception to the type of car you are driving. For example, commercial vehicles won’t be penalized if they double park to offload passengers or goods. So it’s best to check with your local councils or authorities.

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Consequences of Double Parking

Double parking is a high-risk and punishable offense in most states. Any activity preventing drivers from freely exiting a parking space or blocking traffic is considered a traffic violation and can result in high fines or even towing.

As I illustrated above, there might be exceptions to vehicles that this rule affects, so to be better informed, ensure that you check in with your local council or authorities so that they can provide you with complete information regarding their traffic regulations.

How to Prevent Double Parking

No matter how hasty you might be, you must abide by state laws to avoid getting your car towed or fined heavily by parking enforcement officers or traffic police.

To avoid double parking, drivers can take the following measures:

  • Use Public transport: public transportation is available in most cities, and they’re even immune to most of these double parking laws; you can consider using it instead of driving.
  • Use parking garage: A parking garage of lots might charge you a fee to provide a safe and convenient space to park your car without double parking. You can patronize them instead.
  • Carpool: if the number of people embarking on the journey is much, you can all use one car to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. Also, this will save on fuel costs and reduce the stress of driving.

That’s all.

Adhering to the above rules will help reduce the negative impact of Double Parking on busy towns and states.

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What is meant by double parking?

Double parking means illegally parking your car next to a correctly parked vehicle in a stall, garage, or on the roadside.

Is double parking illegal in the UK?

According to the UK double parking prohibition, no person must park their car so that any part of the vehicle is within 50cm of the entrance of a roadway. You can read more about the law here.

Why is double parking a problem?

Double parking is a significant problem affecting many cities and towns worldwide, causing traffic congestion, reduced visibility, space wastage, and even accidents. It’s illegal to double park in most states.

What does double parked mean in America?

Double parking in America means illegally parking your car next to a correctly parked vehicle in a stall, garage, or on the roadside, blocking the entrance and exit of vehicles.

What is it called when you take up two parking spaces?

A scenario where you take up two parking spaces is called Tandem parking. It’s a phenomenon where two car parking spaces are combined into one. So, you can park two cars in the space.

How much space do you need for two parking?

The minimum space required for two parking is 20’x20’. However, it’s advised to go for a larger size of, let’s say, 24’x24’ or more for best results.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.