Blue Badges: Myths and Facts

By: fishadmin, On: 14 November 2016

Blue Badge Holders in the UK are eligible for certain parking concessions, but there are plenty of misunderstandings surrounding the scheme. Here at Fish Insurance we’ve dispelled the myths and given you the facts about who can use the badge, which restrictions apply and more.


You can only have a Blue Badge if you’re in a wheelchair – MYTH

Some people think that only those people who use a wheelchair are eligible to hold a Blue Badge. This way of thinking has resulted in people being challenged about their ‘invisible’ disabilities. It’s important to recognise that Blue Badges are given to people with a range of mobility issues, including those which might not be immediately obvious – for example prosthetic limbs, sight problems, and chronic pain. Broadly speaking, if you find it difficult to walk short distances then you could be eligible for the scheme.

 It’s okay for friends and family to use your Blue Badge – MYTH

It’s actually illegal for a friend or family member to use your Blue Badge, even if they are running an errand for you or visiting you in hospital. Not only is it against the law, but it doesn’t help the stigma experienced by those with invisible illnesses who genuinely need to use a Blue Badge. The only time it is legal for another driver to display your Blue Badge is if you are also travelling in the car. Anything else and you could have your badge confiscated and face a £1,000 fine. Your badge is your responsibility, so if a friend or family member uses it incorrectly it’s you who could get in trouble – not them.

A Blue Badge means you can park anywhere – MYTH

As a Blue Badge holder you benefit from relaxed parking rules, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean you can park wherever you choose. You can park on most single or double yellow lines, but only for a maximum of three hours. You should be aware that you can’t use the yellow lines that are there for safety reasons (such as those at junctions) or lines that are reserved for loading and unloading. You can’t park in taxi ranks or bus stops, or parking spaces reserved for permit holders or residents. It’s important to apply common sense too, and make sure you don’t park anywhere which could be a danger to others.

Once you’ve been awarded a Blue Badge, it’s yours for life – MYTH

You need to apply to your local authority to renew your badge every three years. It’s illegal to use a badge which is out of date.

You can use your Blue Badge abroad – FACT

The Blue Badge is recognised in all European countries and you can make use of the same parking concessions as the country’s own disabled citizens. The concessions vary from country to country though, so make sure you check the rules of the country you’re visiting.

Blue Badge holders can park on the street for free – FACT

Blue badge holders can park for free at most on-street parking metres and on-street ‘pay and display’ areas. Unless signs state otherwise (be sure to double check), there isn’t a limit to how long you can stay either.Certain areas of Central London have restrictions – so make sure to check before you travel.  You may be required to pay the normal parking fee in privately owned or council-run car parks. This is at the discretion of the car park owner or local authority, so we advise you check the signs or visit your council’s website.

Fish Insurance offers significant discounts for Blue Badge holders and registered disabled drivers – FACT

We know from our many years of experience as a disability car insurance specialist that disabled drivers often represent a lower risk. The same experience tells us that if your car is modified it’s not typically to boost its performance or looks. It means our disabled car insurance is tailored to meet your needs and can offer special discounts for disabled drivers and Blue Badge holders.

Find out more about car insurance from Fish Insurance here.

For more information about disability vehicles and WAVs, why not visit our help and information page?

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