Parking facilities for people with disabilities
Parking spaces for people with disabilities are located in towns and cities throughout Ireland. To use these spaces, you must have a disabled persons parking card (valid parking permit). You can park in a designated on-street parking bay free of charge for an unlimited time, unless otherwise stated.
Generally, all street parking spaces or local authority car parks provide parking free of charge to the permit holder. However, there may be time restrictions in place in certain locations, so always check the signs.
Private car parks may have different rules.
How to find a disabled parking space
Some local authorities have lists of disabled parking spaces available on their websites. You can also telephone ahead of your destination.
Private car parks generally have parking spaces available for people with disabilities. Private car parks include parking facilities at shopping centres, supermarkets, universities, hotels, and hospitals. You should check with private car parks if they recognise your valid parking permit and whether payment is needed. If there are time limits imposed in these car parks, they may not apply to people with disabilities. The conditions of parking should be clearly stated on signs.
Disabled parking bays are:
- Clearly marked for use by people with disabilities by both signs and road markings. (Road markings normally consist of the "accessibility" symbol).
- Slightly wider than an average parking space to allow for easy access.
Valid parking permit
You must have a valid disabled persons parking card displayed on your windshield to use a disabled parking bay. The card will show the signature and photograph of the holder.
Having a valid disabled persons parking card does not guarantee you a parking space if none is available.
Do I have to pay?
If you have a valid disabled persons parking card, the disabled parking spaces provided by local authorities are free of charge.
Under local bye-laws, each local authority has the discretion to set time limits for parking in these spaces. Some local authorities apply no time limit, while others state that you must abide by the time limits displayed for the area. Contact your local authority for further information about time limits in your area.
Some private car parks may charge for the use of a disabled parking space, but this will vary depending on the operator.
Parking offences and disabled spaces
It is an offence to park a vehicle in a disabled parking space unless you have a valid card. If you illegally park in a disabled parking space, you will get a parking fine of €150. This increases to €225 if not paid within 28 days.
Since 1 January 2023, the fixed charge amount for misusing a disabled parking badge is €200. This increases to €300 if you do not pay within 28 days.
Traffic wardens and members of An Garda Síochána have the power to request and inspect a parking card to ensure it is not being misused.