Gransnet forums


To feel angry at people running their car/van engines when waiting in car parks?

(60 Posts)
choughdancer Tue 30-Aug-22 18:16:37

It seems to me to be becoming more and more usual to see cars in car parks stationary yet continuing to run their engines. If looks could kill there would be a huge rise in unexpected deaths in my area! I believe it is illegal to do this, and it must be dreadfully bad for the environment. The area around the vehicle is filled with fumes which make me cough and must affect people with any breathing problems.

Farzanah Tue 30-Aug-22 18:26:08

Yes I agree. Sometimes parents do this outside schools.
Sometimes drivers just sitting texting/speaking on their phones. Best to knock on car window and ask politely to turn engine off. Amazing really with cost of fuel. ?

MammynGranny Tue 30-Aug-22 18:35:13

Yes, it is very annoying and I wouldn’t think twice about asking someone to turn their engine off, if they’re sitting they’re parked up with their engine running unnecessarily.

Not long ago, I gestured to a driver to turn his engine off by miming turning a key at him. ?
He looked a bit surprised but understood what I meant and he complied.

Background: I was volunteering at my local Parkrun and the man’s adult son had completed the run and the wife/mum was busy chatting to others and then faffing with stuff in the car boot. Son was sat in back seat and dad was sitting in drivers seat with the Diesel engine running and it was definitely taking minutes rather than seconds.

What really pissed me off was that our little Parkrun is a trail run through woods that starts and finishes in the car park so other runners were still finishing in dribs and drabs running into the car park, whilst this idiot sat with his engine running.

Who on earth wants to encounter choking diesel fumes as they’re finishing a run and probably feeling slightly breathless? ??‍♀️

MammynGranny Tue 30-Aug-22 18:36:24

‘There’ not ‘they’re’.
Silly autocorrect!

Hithere Tue 30-Aug-22 18:41:24

They may have the ac on while waiting for someone?

Jaylou Tue 30-Aug-22 18:43:45

Last time I asked someone to switch off their engine in an enclosed carpark I got told to F off. I now pick my battles more carefully.
Some people are all me me me.

MiniMoon Tue 30-Aug-22 20:54:15

"Rule 123 of the Highway Code states, ‘You must not leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while the vehicle is stationary on a public road’.

"This is enforced under Section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, with local authorities able to issue a fine of up to £80."

It's the law, but apparently not many people are aware of it.

Fleurpepper Tue 30-Aug-22 21:00:38


They may have the ac on while waiting for someone?

No excuse surely. What is even worse, is large tourist coaches, all in a line near famous sites, doing the same- keeping the bus cool for the punters. Totally out of order. In many US National Parks and many European cities, this is totally forbidden and carries very large fines.

lixy Tue 30-Aug-22 21:09:48

Not just you! This is one of my pet hates. When we lived near a school it drove me completely nuts.
I did ask people to switch their engine off when they parked across the end of my drive as I felt I had some kind of bargaining power then, but rarely challenged otherwise unless it was someone I knew.
Reason was usually 'keeping the aircon going', often with windows open too.

Mandrake Tue 30-Aug-22 23:12:25

It's very inconsiderate of people around them. The fumes are disgusting. But I guess as long as they are comfortable, that's all that matters to them.

Sometimes when I've had to wait in the car for a long time and it's very hot or cold I have turned on the car to run the aircon or heater for 30 seconds, just to take the sting out of the air. I don't see that as the same as constantly running the engine, but maybe some people don't like that either. No-one has ever been around at the time though.

choughdancer Wed 31-Aug-22 10:22:01

I have spoken politely to a few people doing this, and have had a mixture of responses from 'F off' to 'oh sorry' and switching off. No-one has ever known that it's illegal, and I think awareness of this should be more widely spread. Most of the time though I don't say anything, and then feel guilty for not doing so!

I have thought of taking a photo of their number plate.

Chestnut Wed 31-Aug-22 10:32:23

It seems 50% of the population are complete numbskulls in so many ways, and drive the other 50% crazy. We have litter, dog poo, cycling and scootering on pavements, bad driving and parking, the list goes on....and on.

I wish they would bring back those Public Information Films on all the above and keep showing them on TV. The public today are so dopey they really need them.

MissAdventure Wed 31-Aug-22 10:34:33

Charlie says... smile
There's a blast from the past.

Chestnut Wed 31-Aug-22 10:47:23

I don't think they would use the old films, they would need to make new ones. I'm sure you can find all the old ones on You Tube.

MissAdventure Wed 31-Aug-22 10:49:49

I wonder if new ones would carry any weight in influencing behaviour?
I think they would.

Lucca Wed 31-Aug-22 10:55:18

Slight digression. I went fir an appointment at my macmillan centre. I have disabled discs. One space left in the dedicated car park occupying a disabled spot. I stopped and gave the driver a look. He opened his window and said “what?” You are in a disabled space I replied. “ I’m waiting for my grandad he’s just come out of hospital “. In main hospital by the way and no blue badge. In other words he was pulling a fast one not wanting to possibly have to pay. He then asked if I had a blue badge which I showed him and he sped off very disgruntled! Glad I stood up to him.

MissAdventure Wed 31-Aug-22 10:59:17

Good on you. smile
Everyone needs to do it, but we're generally too polite, or don't want a fuss.

nanna8 Wed 31-Aug-22 11:57:48

You’d think with the cost of petrol they wouldn’t want to waste it leaving engines running. Dumb as dogs##t.

MissAdventure Wed 31-Aug-22 12:08:40


RichmondPark1 Wed 31-Aug-22 12:32:07

I notice it every time I sit outside of my favourite pavement cafe. They must be after wasting loads of petrol/diesel/money.

Why do people do it? Is it to save the massive effort of turning the key? Or do they genuinely not notice/care? I'd love to know.

MrsKen33 Wed 31-Aug-22 12:47:27

Our car has Stop-Start, which means the engine stops waiting at traffic lights etc. A bit disconcerting to begin with, but we are used to it now. Saves emissions and petrol.

Aveline Wed 31-Aug-22 15:15:29

I've posted about this before as it drives me nuts. It's so inconsiderate. However, the Grans back then told me I was being unreasonable and that they'd tell me where to go if I spoke to them about it in a car park!!

Petera Wed 31-Aug-22 15:18:50


They may have the ac on while waiting for someone?

Then why not turn it off and get out of the car

Hithere Wed 31-Aug-22 15:23:45


Because it may be too hot outside?

GrannyGravy13 Wed 31-Aug-22 15:27:42

Guilty of this over the summer, far too hot not to have AC on especially with GC in the car.