Blue Badge sign on post

Blue Badge Parking Scheme

Having a Blue Badge makes parking nearer to destinations much easier for people with a disability.

Park Closer To Your Destination

The Blue Badge Scheme is a useful services available to UK drivers and passengers with a disability. It’s a ticket that helps people with seriously impaired mobility or a hidden disability park closer to their destinations on our congested streets.

The Scheme, administered through local councils, has been in operation since 2000 and around 2.3 million Blue Badges have been issued in England alone which is 4.1% of the population.

Where Can You Park With A Blue Badge Permit?

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a Blue Badge permit holder can park their vehicle for free on single or double yellow lines for a maximum of 3 hours (except where there are restrictions). In Scotland there is currently no time limit.

By using this badge you can usually park for free and with no time limit where there are on-street parking meters and in disabled parking bays.

However it’s important to note that you should never assume that parking is free just because you qualified for a Blue Badge. Double check the local signage to confirm this and always ensure you’re parking your vehicle in a safe way so that you don’t endanger yourself, pedestrians, or other road users.

How Do I Qualify For A Blue Badge?

There are 2 qualification paths:

  1. Qualification by being ‘eligible without further assessment’ previously known as ‘automatic’ qualification.
  2. Qualification by being ‘eligible subject to further assessment’, previously known as ‘discretionary’ qualification.

Close up of disabled car parking spot

Applying For A Blue Badge Without Further Assessment

Qualifying for a Blue Badge in England without further assessment requires that applicants are over two years old and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • Receives eight or more points under the ‘moving around’ activity of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • Receive the mobility component of PIP and has obtained 10 points under certain sections of Descriptor E.
  • Registered blind (severely impaired).
  • Receive War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement (WPMS).
  • Have been awarded lump sum benefit under certain parts of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and been certified as having an enduring and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking.

Applying For A Blue Badge With Further Assessment

In England, if you don’t receive qualifying benefits you can still apply for a Blue Badge along a ‘with further assessment’ qualification route. This also applies if you’ve lost your DLA in a PIP reassessment or didn’t get the number of points needed.

How Much Does A Blue Badge Cost?

The modest cost varies depending on where you live. In England and Northern Ireland a Blue Badge currently costs £10. In Scotland the cost is £20, while applicants in Wales currently get their badges for free. As soon as it arrives (usually after 3 - 8 weeks) you can start using it to park. These badges are then valid for 3 years before you’ll have to re-apply for the badge again.

Have a question about Blue Badge permits?

Our expert teams are on hand to help with any questions you may have!