Does Your Supermarket Enforce Child Parking Bay Rules?

Mon 2nd Dec 2019

It’s the cause of many arguments on supermarket car parks, but what does the law say when it comes to those who abuse child parking bay rules?
According to research from, 71 per cent of drivers have witnessed misuse of parent and child space, while 11 per cent have actually admitted to parking in a dedicated child bay when they didn’t have a child.

Sadly, it is not actually illegal to park in a parent and child space without a child, however some of the bigger supermarkets have indicated that they are now prepared to take tougher action on offenders, with at least two suggesting that they will issue fines.

While some drivers may feel that parent and child spaces are an unnecessary luxury, the fact remains that those with small children do need extra space to get their children in and out of vehicles, with some parents finding it almost impossible to get their child seats out without the additional space. has found that just three of the major supermarket chains are taking tough action, with only Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda hinting at a fine, though as all three can only issue Parking Charge Notices (PCN), which is issued by a private company, there is some grey area over enforcement.

Here’s what the supermarkets had to say when questioned about their own policy on parent and child parking…

Tesco:  An external agency will issue a parking charge notice (PCN) to anyone wrongly parked.

Lidl:  Lidl do not have the facilities to monitor the use of parent and child parking bays. They strongly rely on the honesty of customers to park correctly.

Aldi:  If a customer has noticed someone misusing a parent and child bay they are encouraged to report it to the store manager. However, they are unable to enforce this as there are limited staff in store.

Sainsbury's:  Parent and child parking bay misuse is handled by the store itself and fines would be issued by the car park operators.

Asda:  An external agency monitors Asda's car parks. Regular checks are conducted to enforce parking restrictions. If someone has parked incorrectly they will be issued with a parking charge.

Morrisons:  If someone is discovered parking incorrectly they are politely asked to move again, or a sign is placed on their windscreen.