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Vehicles parked illegally on private land

Where the Law applies

The Law applies to all private land in Jersey, including any road, driveway, car park, parking space, footpath and other area of land that is privately owned.

Land administered by the Government of Jersey or a parish authority is not covered by the Law.

You cannot prevent or obstruct a person from removing their vehicle if it is parked on your land without permission, this may include:

  • attaching a wheel clamp or other immobilising device to a vehicle 
  • block a vehicle from being moved
  • remove a vehicle from your land without following the steps below

You could be liable to a fine of up to £10,000 if you commit this offence. 

It is not illegal to restrict a vehicle from being removed from your land if a barrier was in place when it was parked there.

Policy guidance for private landowners, agents and motor vehicle removal operators

Signage requirements

You only need to display signage if the land is laid with:

  • gravel
  • tarmac
  • wood
  • concrete
  • other solid foundation

Designated car park

You need to clearly mark parking spaces and if they're allocated for use by a person or persons. Display a clear notice from each of the parking spaces:

  • indicating that parking spaces are allocated for use by a particular person, or class of person, or for the parking of a particular vehicle or class of vehicle
  • a warning that any vehicle not authorised to be parked in the parking space is liable to be removed
  • provide the telephone number of the person responsible for removing any vehicle removed from parking spaces on the land

A car park that has clear defined entrance and exit points, must display the notice at each entrance and exit point. 

Private land

Private land that is not used as a car park, must display a notice from each vehicular access point:

  • indicating that the land is private land
  • warning that any vehicle found on that land is liable to be removed
  • providing the contact number of the keeper of any vehicle removed from that land

Any signage that is displayed, it must be written in plain English and easy to see and understand.

For more information see our signs and advertisements page.

Removing a vehicle

Signage is displayed

If you have signage displayed on your private land a vehicle can only be moved or removed by a registered vehicle removal operator, otherwise you could be fined up to £10,000.

If a vehicle is removed from your land, it must be removed to a secure storage location.

The owner of a vehicle must be given a notice and the opportunity to claim. After 3 weeks of giving notice you can sell or dispose of the vehicle.

No signage is displayed

When signage is not displayed and the land has a solid foundation, vehicles must remain on the land and you need to inform the vehicle’s owner by giving them notice

If you think a vehicle has been permanently abandoned or the vehicle is causing a security risk, danger or obstruction, you need to get permission from the parish where the vehicle is located to get an immediate solution.

If the owner is present

If the vehicle’s owner is present at the time when the vehicle is parked on your land you may request for them to move or remove the vehicle. If a vehicle owner fails to move or remove the vehicle as requested, you can call the police. If the police officer is satisfied you have authority to request a vehicle to be moved or removed, they may permit you to move the vehicle to another part of you land or remove it altogether, using a vehicle removal operator.

Once the vehicle has been moved or removed you need to notify a police officer or the parish where the vehicle was located.

The vehicle may be kept until the vehicle’s owner has paid any expenses reasonably incurred.

Permanently abandoned vehicle

If a vehicle has been permanently abandoned on your land, you can remove and dispose of the vehicle once you have requested permission from the parish the vehicle is located.

The parish will look at:

  • the general condition of the vehicle
  • if the vehicle has number plates on display
  • if the vehicle has a verifiable identification number

If the parish decides a vehicle has not been permanently abandoned by its owner, the request may be refused.

If the request has been successful you may sell or dispose of the abandoned vehicle

You can only sell or dispose of a vehicle when it has been permanently abandoned.

You must tell the Police or the parish the vehicle was located, and Driver and Vehicle Standards, to let them know you will be selling or disposing of the vehicle. It is an offence liable to a fine up to £200 not to inform one of the above authorities.

Vehicles causing a security risk, danger or obstruction

If there is no signage displayed on your land (except if there is no solid foundation), but you think that the position or condition of a vehicle, or the circumstances in which it has been left, mean that it is causing a security risk, danger or obstruction to another person using your land, you can ask a police officer or an officer of the parochial authority in which the vehicle is located decide whether the vehicle is causing this and to:

  • immediately move the vehicle to another part of the private land where it will not cause a security risk, danger or obstruction to another person using that land
  • immediately remove the vehicle from the private land and take custody of it

If they agree, you may use a registered vehicle removal operator to move the vehicle to another area of your land or remove it from your land altogether so that it no longer causes a security risk, danger or obstruction.

Vehicles causing a persistent nuisance

Where a vehicle is being parked on your land for frequent but short periods of time (when someone parks their car in your car parking space on a recurring basis) you need to contact the parish the land is located and request them to issue the vehicle owner with a notice to stop them from parking on your land.

Find out more about sending a notice to the vehicle owner.

After 3 weeks of sending the notice to the vehicle owner, you may make an application to the Magistrate’s Court. The Magistrate's Court will:

  • decide if the vehicle is causing you a persistent nuisance
  • receive any evidence provided by the vehicle owner whether a vehicle is causing you a persistent nuisance

Where you are able to show to the satisfaction of the Magistrate’s Court that a vehicle is causing a persistent nuisance, the Magistrate is permitted to make an order that:

  • consents to you imposing a charge upon the vehicle owner. The Magistrate must specify the amount, which must not exceed £500
  • states that the vehicle owner must stop parking their vehicle on your land

You can appeal the Magistrate’s Court’s decision within 7 days from the date on which an order is issued. An application must be made to the Royal Court.

Notice to the vehicle owner

You or the Parish can serve notice to the vehicle’s owner. 

A notice sent to a vehicle owner needs to include:

  • a description of the vehicle for it to be identified
  • the location of the vehicle and, in the case where it has been removed, the location from which it was removed
  • that is the intention of the custodian to sell or otherwise dispose of the vehicle on or after a date specified in the notice (no less than three weeks from the date of the notice)
  • that the custodian may recover from the vehicle’s owner the costs incurred in the removal and storage of the vehicle
  • the telephone number of the person who the vehicle owner should contact to recover the vehicle

If the vehicle owner informs you, or the Parish, of the name and address of another person who they think the vehicle owner is, you need to send a notice with the above information to the other person.

If you don't know the name or address of the vehicle’s owner, or serving the notice has been unsuccessful, you need to put a notice in the Jersey Gazette.

You will need to contact the relevant parish to issue the vehicle with a notice to stop them from parking on your land.

Accessing vehicle ownership details

To find out the name and address of the person who has parked their vehicle on your land without permission, you or a vehicle removal operator acting on your behalf, may request this information from the parish in which the vehicle is located. There may be a cost for this.

The parish will decide whether to provide you with this information. Your request may be refused if the parish doesn’t think the request for information will be used for its intended purpose.

If the Parish does decline your request they must instead serve a notice directly on the vehicle owner.

Place a notice in the Gazette

If you cannot get in contact with the vehicle owner, you need to place a notice in the Gazette by going to our submit a Jersey Gazette notice page.

Claiming expenses

Once you have covered your costs any additional proceeds are payable within 1 year to the person the vehicle would have belonged to, if it was not sold or disposed of.

If the proceeds have not been claimed within 1 year, it needs to be credited to the States of Jersey.

You need to keep a record of any costs and records you experience to show how they were calculated for 1 year, otherwise you could be fined £200.

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