“Car Blocking Driveway” Protocol


    Hey All,

    Just wondering what the proper procedure to follow when someone parks directly in front of your driveway. This has happened for the second time now- the first time I didn’t need to get out for a while so I didn’t do anything right away and they moved after a day, but now I will need my car tomorrow afternoon and am not sure the car will be gone.
    Whose dealt with this before? Do you call the cops? A tow truck? Write a note on the window? Or try to sell it for scrap?

    Both creative and realistic advice encouraged.


    18 Replies

    1. Some neighbors DO NOT respond no matter how nice or firm you are. Some people are just plain STUPID! I’m in a situation where my neighbor is blocking 1/2 of MY driveway with his many cars and minivans. Not being able to park his 2 or 3 cars in front of HIS own house he is spilling onto my driveway and making it impossible for me to get out without going to ring his bell, or tell him to move when I see him in the street or like the other day when a friend of theirs came to visit and THEY TOO blocked my driveway, this time totally, I had to lay on the horn to try to get the owners attention because I didn’t know who belonged to the car at the time. THIS is a BLATANT DISREGARD for someone else’s property as the person CLEARLY KNOWS they are IN someone else’s driveway. It’s an absolute disgrace how selfish people are and how miserably they treat their neighbors. And we wonder why entire countries can’t get along.

    2. For start, I would leave a note stating to move the car since you need the driveway. Also be sure that your driveway is clearly marked and looks legal.

    3. You should edit that sign to say “Don’t park here or you’ll be towed to New Jersey”.

    4. OP here… thanks all for the advice. The driveway is totally legit and it has a large metal gate and a car parked in it so no missing that its clearly a driveway.

      It was gone this morning so no need to take any action, but I appreciate all the ideas for next time.

      I might just print up a handful of “please don’t park here- you will be towed” signs to put on the windshield as needed and get a tow co’s number for more extreme situations.

    5. Is your driveway a legal driveway with a curb cut? If not, they are not actually blocking your driveway.

    6. I know it’s usually very obvious when it’s a driveway, but it’s been helpful to me to see one of those “no parking, active driveway” signs as I was pulling into a “gift from heaven” spot. Obviously won’t solve your annoying problem removing the car that’s blocking you in, but it might cut down on the tiny fraction of people who occasionally miss the obvious.

    7. Not so creative, but hopefully sensible advice.

      Get to know your neighbors so you can spot if it’s their cars blocking your driveway. Proximity and civility demands that you try to get in touch with them before towing them, if it’s possible- but you can also be firm, and ask them why the heck they are blocking your driveway.

      Make sure the driveway is legal and well marked.

      If your neigbors are nice enough to ask if they can stop for a minute and load/unload in your driveway space- be nice about it.

      In any other situation, just call the precinct directly and issue the ticket. Then have the vehicle towed at your convenience.

      Get used to having to get riled up about defending your driveway- it’s NY, and people don’t care, and will block it from time to time.

      If they are anywher near sensible, they will also realize it’s their fault when they get the ticket or towed. Don’t worry abot retaliation, but do take down and keep the license plate of the car that gets towed.

    8. I live in a condo with over twenty spaces and periodically someone parks in front of the only exit. We call the local precinct and get them to send a traffic cop to ticket the car. We then call a tow truck company to remove the car.
      The last time this happened the owner of the car arrived ast the ticket was being put on his windshield. The traffic cop pointed out the no parking sign, the garage door and the yellow curb and handed him the ticket.

      All of NYC is a tow away zone, so any car with a ticket on it can be towed to the impound lot. The city pays the tow truck companies. It’s usually pretty obvious when you’re parking in front of someone’s driveway, so don’t spend too much time on sympathy for the driver – if you’re driving around looking for a spot and you see what seems to be a gift from heaven, it usually turns out to be a hydrant or a driveway. I assume you have a legal driveway and not an illegal curb cut, which might make it difficult to get the car ticketed.

    9. I’d be straight, “please don’t park here and block the driveway; next time your car will be ticketed/towed.”
      If there is a next time, you can make good on your promise.

    10. I wouldn’t be too rash since the car’s owner obviously knows where you live & might retaliate. I’d first try asking neighbors if they know whose car it is & where he lives or works nearby. I’d go to him to tell him not to park there any more. Failing that, I’d try leaving a snarky note if you’re not pressed to get out immediately. If you do have to go right away, ticket & towing are the only remedy.

    11. A large sheet of paper with a polite message, stuck with nasty glue to the windshield may help.

    12. Also if it’s a small car you can flip it over into traffic and I’m sure the city will fetch it pretty quick.

    13. A ticket is not sufficient if you have to get your car out. And you may not have to give your name but they know where you live already.

    14. I have found the note secured to the windshield with a brick to be effective (we have no driveway – I’ve used the note technique when a constant car alarm parks in front of the house).

      The cops will ticket a blocked driveway on request.

    15. I second Fire Alarm Guy. It needs to be ticketed first before the towing company will come. However, you don’t have to have it towed either. Usually a ticket is sufficient. Also I don’t think you need to give your real name to both 311 or towing company.

    16. You have to get the car ticketed and then you can have it towed. You should call 311 to have someone come out and ticket it. If you need quicker service head down to the avenue and flag down a meter maid. Once the car is ticketed you can call any tow company to tow it at the car owners expense. I have used Ridge Towing as they are quick and professional. Once when really angry I used a company in the Bronx.
      Or you could just torch it and call sanitation to remove.