Congratulations! Getting your disability parking permit sorted out means another step towards greater accessibility for your day to day life. Now the applications and other admin are out of the way, here’s what you should know about a disability parking permit.

From your parking and insurance benefits to your rights around accessible parking spaces, we’ve got it covered.

What you should know about disability parking permits nationwide

Every state and territory recognises the Australian Disability Parking Scheme. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean the criteria for being granted a permit is unified. Our article about how to get a disability permit covers this. But you’ve overcome that challenge so let’s look at the positives.

What is consistent everywhere is that accessible parking spots are available to every member of the disability parking scheme, regardless of their individual disability/ies. All these spots have signage with the blue international symbol of ‘people with disability’.

The scheme says “permit holders can park in parking spaces showing the international symbol of access and can receive concessions in most public parking spaces where the sign or meter shows specific time limits.” The latter means longer time limits and other concessions; these differ between states/territories so best check with yours.

The aim of accessible parking is to make it easier for people living with disability to access shops and services. A disability parking space will be located conveniently, meaning you don’t have to navigate long distances. They will also be bigger, so you’re able to get out of your car more easily. Want to know more about their design? Here’s why accessible parking spaces are designed the way they are.

And the differences in disability parking permits between states

Although the disability parking scheme is recognised countrywide, there are still differences to note. It can all be a bit confusing when the rules for your disability parking permit differs from state to state.

For instance, Victoria has two categories of disability parking permit while other states have only one permit. Depending on jurisdiction, the permits often look different or have different rules about how they should be displayed.

If you’re planning to travel or aren’t sure about your state, we’ve done some research for you. See our in-depth article called Why Are Disability Parking Permits Different.

a disability insurance specialist insures this person in wheelchair transferring to car

What you should know about disability parking permits and your rights

If you have an invisible disability, you may feel under pressure not to use accessible parking spaces. Please, don’t let this deter you.

What you should know about your disability parking permit is simple… Even if your disability isn’t obvious to the general public, you are entitled to use the parking space. Need it? Use it. Ignore anyone who says otherwise.

Unfortunately, you’ll likely find people without the relevant permits using accessible parking spaces. In many areas this tends to get worse during festive periods and other holiday seasons, as shops get busier. Which brings us to another important thing that, as a permit holder, you should know about disability parking permits. Parking in an accessible space without a permit is illegal. They’re there for permit holders exclusively.

If you see someone without a permit using a parking space, you could ask them politely first if they realise they’ve accidentally parked there. This article has some good advice on handling the situation. If they’re using the spot knowingly, you’re able to report them to the relevant authorities. Find out from your local council what the correct reporting channels are.

You should also be aware you can park in areas with ‘parents with prams’ parking signs. Anyone with a disability parking permit is well within their rights for doing so. So too, seniors parking can be a useful back up for permit holders. Read more on this in our article: Who Can Parking in Seniors Parking? What about Disability and Pram Parking?

Got a disability parking permit? Your insurance could be cheaper

As Australia’s first independence and mobility specialist insurer, we know disability parking permit holders are normally safer drivers. That is why we reward you with cheaper insurance premiums, as well as loads of mobility and independence benefits. Find out more here.

You jumped through hoops to get your permit – why not take advantage of up to 25% off your comprehensive car insurance that it could get you?

What you should know about disability parking permits – over to you

Do you have any tips for new disability parking permit holders? Let us know your insider secrets in the comments!