Using your Blue Badge

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

If you have a Blue Badge you can park in places other drivers can’t, for example parking spaces for Blue Badge holders. 

The Blue Badge is linked to you rather than a vehicle,  so you can use it with any car. This includes taxis and hire cars that you're driving, or travelling in as a passenger. 

When you get your Blue Badge, you should be given a leaflet from your council explaining how to use it. If you don’t get one, either ask or read the guidelines on GOV.UK.

Follow our advice to apply for a Blue Badge, if you don’t have one already.

Where you can park

You can’t use your Blue Badge everywhere - some areas have different parking schemes for disabled people. 

For example, there are different schemes in these areas of London:

  • City of London

  • City of Westminster

  • Kensington and Chelsea

  • Gatwick Airport

  • Heathrow Airport

  • Camden - you can still use your Blue Badge in some areas

Before you travel, check where you can park with a Blue Badge on GOV.UK to avoid getting a ticket, or on the local council's website if you're parking in Scotland.

Your Blue Badge usually lets you park for free:

  • on streets with parking meters or pay-and-display machines for as long as you need to

  • in disabled parking bays on streets for as long as you need to, unless a sign says there is a time limit

  • on single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours unless there’s a ‘no loading’ sign

Some councils let badge holders park even if there’s a ‘no loading sign’ - check on GOV.UK to find out.

If you’re a Blue Badge holder, you can ask your local council for a disabled parking space near your home. This is usually free but councils have different rules about who can apply for a space.

You’ll need to apply through your council’s website. Find your local council’s website on GOV.UK - you’ll need to know your postcode.

You might have to pay for parking if you’re parking in a private car park, for example at a supermarket or hospital. You’ll need to check the signs in the car park.

Having a Blue Badge doesn’t let you park anywhere - you still have to follow the usual parking regulations. For example, you can still get a fine if you park somewhere that endangers people, like outside a school or near a junction.  

You can check the parking rules on GOV.UK. 

How to display your badge

Make sure your badge:

  • is the right way up

  • is clearly visible through the windscreen

  • hasn’t expired

If you park somewhere with a time limit, always set the parking time clock on your blue badge to show the 15 minute period that you arrived.

If you get a parking ticket even though you’ve displayed your badge properly, you can appeal it.

If your badge has expired, has been damaged, or is lost or stolen, you should contact the local council to tell them and ask for a replacement. 

When you can use your badge

You can only use your badge when:

  • you’re driving

  • you’re travelling in a car as a passenger

  • someone is picking you up or dropping you off, and they need to park close to where you need to go

If someone else is driving you, you must let them know the rules - otherwise the council can ask for your badge back.

Using your badge abroad

You can use your badge in some European Union countries, and countries in the European Economic Area. It’s best to check where you can use your blue badge in Europe on GOV.UK.

The rules might be slightly different depending on where you go. You should ask locally, for example at a tourist information office, and pay attention to road signs when you get there.

If you break the rules

You can still get a parking fine when you're using your badge. 

If you misuse your badge on purpose you could be fined up to £1000, for example if you:

  • give it to someone else to use

  • keep using your badge when you no longer need it

  • use your badge to park if you’re just waiting, and don't plan to leave your car

If someone else is driving you, you must let them know the rules - if they don’t follow them the council can take your badge away.

You can appeal if your badge is taken away

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