Idling vehicles

Idling vehicle offences

Under the Road Vehicle Regulations (1986) it's an offence to leave vehicle engines running unnecessarily when they are stationary.

We have the authority to:

  • ask you to switch your engine off
  • issue a £20 fixed penalty notice if you refuse


Local air quality

Exhaust pollution from moving and idling vehicles harms the local environment and people’s health. Diesel vehicles such as coaches and taxis can release high levels of fine particles, which can affect breathing problems such as asthma.

Nitrogen dioxide levels in Kensington and Chelsea exceed national targets and our borough has been declared an Air Quality Management Area.

Read more about air quality.


How we enforce regulations

We target problem areas in the borough. Our council officers are authorised to ask drivers in parked vehicles to turn their engine off and will explain why.

If you refuse, we can issue a £20 fixed penalty notice. You will be legally required to provide your:

  • name and address
  • date of birth
  • vehicle registration and make

If you are not the owner of the vehicle, you must provide the owner's details.

If you refuse to give this information or give false details, you may receive a larger fine or be prosecuted.

No-idling leaflet


Key facts

  • If you are driving the vehicle, you are responsible for payment even if you are not the owner.
  • We will issue a £20 fixed penalty notice each time you commit an offence, so you could face multiple fines.
  • You don't need to be in the vehicle for the offence to be committed.



The regulations do not apply:

  • when a vehicle is stationary at traffic lights or in a traffic jam
  • when a vehicle is broken down and the engine is being run to find a defect
  • where an engine is needed to keep fresh goods cool or run a compactor on a refuse vehicle
  • if the council officer decides an idling engine is acceptable for a few minutes such as defrosting a windscreen or cooling down on a hot day