Using your Blue Badge
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 nidirect.gov.
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 - for example in some areas of London.
You should check before you park on GOV.UK to avoid getting a ticket, or on your local authority's website if you're parking in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
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.
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 authority to tell them and ask for a replacement.
When someone else can use your badge
You can only let someone else use your badge if:
- you’re in the car with them
- they’re 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 all European Union countries, and countries in the European Economic Area. There’s a full list of EU and EEA countries 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 if they’re not your driver
- 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.