Can I Live In My Caravan On My Parents’ Drive? Full Guide


Living in a caravan is affordable and fun. And if this is something you like doing or thinking about doing, you might wonder, can I live in my caravan on my parent’s drive?

You can live in your caravan on your parents’ drive, with these requirements:
Caravan is movable and a maximum of 20m long, 6.8m wide, and 3.05m tall,
Is an extra extension of the house by living residents,
– Property deeds allow caravan parking,
– It doesn’t obstruct your neighbor’s view, drive, etc. 

If you can’t meet the above requirements, you need need to apply for planning permission. So there is much more to it when it comes to living in a caravan on your parent’s driveway and staying out of trouble. With in-depth information, I’m going to make things more clear for you in this article. So continue reading.

Living In A Caravan On A Driveway Laws & Rules

There is no real law in the U.K. when it comes to parking a caravan on driveways. Therefore it can be interpreted in a variety of different ways. Also, living in it is quite a grey area.

In some areas, moving into a caravan on the driveway is easier than in others. This has to do with the size of the caravan, local council rules, property deeds, the size and location of the property, planning permits, the duration of your stay, and your relationship with your neighbors. So let’s dive deeper into things you should know before you live in a caravan on your parent’s driveway.

Caravan

The first thing to know more about is the definition of a caravan within the law and the maximum dimensions.

According to the legal information website Inbrief.co.uk, the definition of a caravan is. “Under the Caravan Sites and Control Development Act 1960, a caravan is any structure built for human habitation which is capable of being moved from one place to another (whether by being towed or by being transported on a motor vehicle or trailer).

To be classed as a caravan, the structure must not measure more than 20m in length, 6.8m in width, and the overall height of living accommodation (measured internally from the floor at the lowest level to the ceiling at the highest level) must not be more than 3.05m.”

When you’re considering buying a caravan to live in, make sure you don’t exceed these measurements.

Property Deeds

The property deeds of your parent’s home are also important in whether you’re allowed to live in your caravan on your parent’s driveway.

Make sure to check a clause in the deeds that you can or cannot keep a caravan on the property. And check if it also states that you can or cannot keep any commercial vehicles or vans on the property as well.

Most ‘estate type’ properties that have been built since the 1970s prohibit the parking of caravans.

You can request a copy of property deeds at the UK’s government website by clicking here.

Local Council

Even though the deeds of the property allow caravan parking, your local council can have other restrictions and might prohibit long-term parking of a caravan on the driveway. Check it out before buying a caravan and park it on your parent’s driveway.

Neighbors

Your neighbors can be a big dealbreaker when it comes to living in a caravan on your parent’s drive. First of all, your caravan should not block your neighbor’s view or parking area. But besides this, your neighbors can also have the opinion that your caravan is ugly and report it to the local council or even the police.

Maintaining a good relationship with your neighbors is key. Perhaps in your situation, it can be a good idea to ask permission beforehand or let them know in a kind way that a caravan is going to be parked in your parent’s driveway. A kind and good way of communication beforehand and during your stay can prevent a lot of issues.

This also means that you don’t cause a nuisance in the form of noise, trash, or other ways.

Extra Extension Of Main House

According to UK’s leading legal information website Inbrief.co.uk, “You do not need planning permission to park a caravan in your driveway or garden as long as it is being used as an annex of your home. This means it can be used as if it were part of the house (for example, an extra bedroom) by members of your immediate family or occasionally by friends but you can’t hire it out (for example, for holidays) or use it as a completely separate dwelling from your home.”

This means that the caravan should not be seen as independent from the main house. The caravan must rely on the main dwelling (your parent’s house) in some way. This can mean that you cook and eat your meals at your parent’s home. If your mother is a great cook, then this can be very beneficial for you ;). Or you use the bathroom for a shower every day. Either way, the house must be used for some activity.

This way, you don’t need to get planning permission, which can make things much more complicated.

but hey, who is checking if you eat inside the house or in your caravan anyway? It’s a grey area in which you can play around. But it is useful information to keep in the back of your mind.

Property Size and Location

Another factor that makes it easy or less easy to live in a caravan on your parent’s driveway is the size of your parent’s property and location. If your parents have a house in the countryside with lots of space, it is easier to move into your caravan, and nobody is checking it. Or is troubled by it.

Also, if your parents have a big property with a fence and a long driveway, it is so much easier to park a caravan and start living in it without neighbors having the opportunity to complain. Or the local council can view it from the main road.

Duration Of Your Stay

Temporary living in a caravan on the driveway is much easier. Then a lot is possible and allowed. It gets more complicated when you want to permanently live in a caravan on the driveway. In most cases, a planning permit is needed if you want to follow the rules.

A way to work around it is to move your caravan a couple of times in the year. You can go on a trip a couple of times a year to avoid any trouble while also having some fun.

Planning Permit

If you plan on having your caravan as a separate home, you will most definitely require a planning permit from your local council. This is the first thing you need in order to live in your trailer on your parents’ driveway more permanently.

However, getting a planning permit is not easy; most councils will allow you to live in a caravan on your parents’ property if it is temporary. Moreover, if you are granted planning permission, you will have to pay council tax. You can find out more about how to apply for a planning permission in UK here.

Things To Keep In Mind

Once you do get permission to live in your caravan on your parents’ drive by the local council or neighbors or any other way, there are certain things you need to be careful about before setting up camp.

Heating Your Caravan

When you’re regularly staying in your caravan at a camping site, heating your trailer can not be missed. However, when you are staying on your parent’s property, it is possible that heating might slip your mind. 

If insulating your caravan using a heater, remember to partially open a window of your trailer to allow adequate ventilation. 

Read more: 12 Essential Tips To Keep Your Caravan Warm

Parking On An Incline

The next thing to keep in mind when you’re staying in your caravan on your parents’ drive is the angle at which your caravan is parked. The angle is important because if you are parked on a slope, you run the risk of your caravan rolling away. 

You can avoid this by properly adjusting your trailer’s brakes. You can also wedge the wheels with bricks or wood blocks. 

Securing Your Caravan

It goes without saying that the safety and security of your caravan is essential. As such, it is best to secure the door and windows of your trailer, since you’re parked on a driveway; otherwise, you can be an easy target for intrusion. 

You can also go the extra mile and invest in a compact alarm system for your caravan to ensure you are entirely safe.

Living Per Society Rules

You must be mindful that you are not living on a campsite but in your parents’ driveway, which means that you must follow the rules of society as laid out by the council or your parent’s neigborhood culture.

If you are making excessive noise, disturbing the neighbors, littering or throwing your trash out on the street, then it is likely your neighbors will either register a complaint to the local council or, worst case, the police.

If you are planning to live in a caravan on your parent’s driveway, make sure that you are not disrupting the residential area’s peace and not violating any of the rules.

Related Questions

Here are some common questions that people ask about living in a caravan on a driveway:

Is it cheaper to live in a trailer than in a house?

Yes, it is cheaper to live in a trailer than in a house, as the cost of utilities for a trailer is almost negligible compared to that of a house, such as electricity, water, and gas. However, if you have your caravan parked on your parents’ driveway with a planning permission, you will have to pay council tax.

Read more: Is It Cheaper To Live In A Caravan Than A House? Full Guide

What size is acceptable for my caravan to be parked on a driveway?

The maximum dimension for your caravan to be legally parked on your parents’ driveway is no more than 20m long, 3m tall, and 6.8 m wide. If your caravan exceeds this size limit, it will be reported to the council.

Do you need to be 18+ to live in a caravan?

There are no laws that impose the restriction of being 18+ when it comes to living in a caravan.

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Léon Kopijn

Léon Kopijn works and lives as a Digital Nomad. He travels the world with the love of his life and writes about inspiring cultures and practical travel tips. Find out more about Léon on his about page!

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