Parking for diplomats

  • By admin


General rules for parking in London

  • never stop where your vehicle will cause an obstruction to traffic flow or pedestrians
  • never stop on zig-zag markings at pedestrian crossings
  • never double park or stop at junction corners
  • never park on the pavement (even two wheels) unless there are signs indicating that it is legal to do so
  • always park fully within the markings of the bay
  • always check the signs, lines and plates to ensure that parking is permitted at the location.

There is a severe shortage of parking places in London, particularly in central areas. Illegal parking is a matter of considerable public concern and parking regulations are strictly enforced.

Diplomats are required to comply with the local parking regulations and to park their vehicles legally at all times. We recommend that during your stay in London, you follow the guidance set out in this leaflet. By doing so, you should not receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

If you need any further information please contact either your local council.

Diplomatic bays

diplomatic parking sign

Local authorities in London have designated a number of park­ing spaces for the exclusive use of the diplomatic community. These are clearly marked on the road with a diagonal cross in the parking space, and an accompanying sign. Diplomatic parking spaces are usually situated in the vicinity of a nearby embassy or consulate. Diplomatic vehicles (i.e. ‘flag cars’ or those with ‘D’ or ‘X’ registration plates) may park in these spaces without restriction.

If a diplomatic parking space is occupied by a non-diplomatic vehicle, you should in the first instance contact the council who may arrange for the vehicle to be ticketed or removed. If you need further assistance you should contact the Protocol Division of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (020 7008 0993) or the Diplomatic Protection Group of the Metropolitan Police (020 7321 8136).

Permit holder only bays

parking sign

In London there are parking bays set aside for use by certain users or permit holders only – for instance residents bays, business bays, police vehicles, disabled badge holders, motorcycle bays etc. Diplomatic vehicles cannot use these bays unless they have an appropriate permit issued by the local council.

Meter, pay and display, mobile phone and voucher parking 

In London, a large number of parking bays require payment before you are allowed to leave your vehicle.

The four main types are pay and display, meter, mobile phone and voucher parking. Once you have paid you must not stay longer than the time you have paid for. Typically the maximum stay allowed is two or four hours. The times are shown on signs and on the pay and display and meter legends. Diplomatic vehicles may not:

  • park for free in paid for bays
  • park for longer than the paid for time
  • purchase extra time after the vehicle has been parked.

If you get a PCN

Diplomats are expected to pay PCNs promptly. There is a 50 per cent discount if a PCN is paid within 14 days. Read the penalty charge carefully and follow the instructions regarding payment. Please ensure that the number of each PCN is on the reverse of the cheque or on a covering letter. 

If you think that the PCN was issued incorrectly, you can appeal directly to the council.

Towing and wheel clamping

In London, because of the acute parking problems, towing away or wheel clamping of vehicles is sometimes necessary. Diplomatic vehicles may not be wheel clamped in any circumstances, and will only be relocated to a nearby street if the are causing an obstruction. 

If your vehicle is missing when you return to where you parked it contact London Councils vehicle TRACE line (0845 206 8 602) who will try and locate the vehicle for you. If your vehicle is accidently clamped you should contact the numbers shown on the paperwork left on your vehicle.