commercial-parking-lot

How to Handle Illegal Parking at Your Business

When people cut you off for that perfect parking space at the front of the grocery store, you may get frustrated, but how much worse is it when drivers blatantly take a parking space you own? 

Unfortunately, this is a reality for many different business owners in America–especially those in larger cities–who have to deal with drivers constantly taking their valuable parking spaces. If you’re struggling to reclaim your parking space and keep others out of it, it may be time to consider taking action to prevent or remove these illegal parkers. 

Before we dive into a few of the key ways you can go about this, let’s take a closer look at what exactly qualifies as illegal parking in this context and just why it’s so inconvenient.

What is Illegal Commercial Parking?

Illegal commercial parking occurs when individuals park in spots that are privately owned by commercial businesses. This can include instances where vehicles are parked in such a way that parking spot owners can’t access their space if other vehicles are parked over the line or double-spaced.

When someone takes a business owner’s spot, it is an incredible inconvenience to the owner as they are then required to find a new space to park in. The delay in finding a new location to park may result in missed meetings that impact the business’ bottom line, car accidents or damage to the vehicle if the business owner has to settle for parking in a less-than-ideal location, hourly parking fees if no free spaces are available, and overall inconvenience and frustration.

Ways to Handle Illegal Commercial Parking

If people keep taking your designated parking spots, you have a few options. There are steps you can take to either dissuade, prevent, or even remove individuals from your parking spots if you go about it the right way. Let’s look at some of the most effective ways you can reclaim your parking space as soon as possible.

Post No Parking Signs

One of the most low-effort ways you can begin preventing parking spot theft today is by simply posting “No Parking” or “Reserved” signs at your parking spots. Make sure you place it in a highly visible location at or near your spot and ensure nothing blocks a driver’s view of the sign. Many people who may have otherwise parked in your spot will likely drive on to avoid potentially being towed or fined.

Unfortunately, not everyone will be dissuaded, so there are a few other options you can try if your “No Parking” sign fails to be effective.

Report Illegal Parking to Authorities

One of the first steps many people take to remove unwanted parkers from their lots is phoning the police. But you might be surprised to learn that the police may not be able to do anything about the illegal commercial parkers, especially if you don’t have signage in place that explicitly tells people they can’t park in your space.

Commercially-owned parking spaces and lots are considered private property, and police have far fewer powers on private property than they do on public property. Additionally, illegal commercial parking isn’t a criminal offense in most places, so unless the vehicle seems dangerous in some way, local authorities will likely not be able to render any assistance.

Work with a Towing Company

Hiring a towing company to deal with unauthorized vehicles in your spot is one of the quickest and most effective ways of removing illegal parkers. As soon as you see a car in your spot, you can call your towing company to remove the vehicle. You don’t have to wait for the owner to return or for any other action to be taken.

Note that you cannot have a vehicle towed from your private parking space or lot if you don’t have signage up that explicitly informs individuals they may not park on your property. There is an exception to this rule, however. If the illegally parked vehicle is in your space for more than twenty-four hours, you may have it towed without needing to post a “No Parking” sign first.

Hire Car Park Management Services

Another possible solution would be to hire a car park management service or attendant. If you have individuals on-site to regulate who has access to your parking lot, there is a much lower chance of your spaces being taken by unauthorized drivers. The downside of this solution is that it can be quite a costly option over time as you have to pay individuals to watch over your spaces. 

Key Takeaways

If you’re tired of dealing with unauthorized vehicles in your parking spaces, it may be time to try investing in one or more of these methods. Whether you want to start small with a few strategically-placed signs or you want to jump straight into working with a car park management service, you’ll likely find that your parking spaces are much more available than they may have been in the past. 

If you want to learn more about dealing with illegally parked vehicles on your commercial property and how it may impact your insurance, reach out to our skilled professional agents today!