Visitors to Scotland can use their international disability parking permits whilst
travelling with some exceptions and checks.
- There are no formal reciprocal agreements for travellers from EEA, US, Canada and others. Local authorities (councils) in Scotland will accept permits but travellers should check with the local authority where they are travelling for any local exceptions.
- To find the local authority where your accommodation or visitor attraction is located, enter their Postcode into the search engine on the linked page: Find A Local Authority
In Scotland the disabled parking permit scheme is known as the Blue Badge Scheme and registered to a person not a vehicle. So long as the person is travelling as either a driver or passenger the Blue Badge can be used. This means that if you are a visitor hiring a car you can still use your permit.
It is important that you display your permit clearly on the dashboard so that it is visible and readable from outside the car. The pass must also show an expiry date.
There may be some regional variations such as parking times or restrictions. You can contact the local authority you are travelling to for more information.
Where can you park?
The Blue Badge Scheme Leaflet has more information on rights and responsibilities utilising the scheme. The Blue Badge scheme in Scotland allows holders to park:
- on single or double yellow lines for as long as is required, unless there are restrictions onloading or unloading as indicated by yellow kerb dashes and/or signs on plates(individual local authorities can choose to exempt Blue Badge holders from this restriction)
- for free, and for as long as required, in on-street parking bays managed by parking meters and pay-and-display machines
- for free, and without a time limit (unless signs state otherwise) in ‘on-street’ disabled parking bays, which are indicated by signs with a blue wheelchair symbol. Drivers are encouraged to try to use these bays instead of parking on yellow lines.
If a badge holder parks where their vehicle would cause an obstruction or danger to other road users, they can be fined, receive a parking ticket, or have their vehicle removed eg. parking over pedestrian crossing or in bus stops.
- The Scheme does not apply on private roads.
- The Scheme does not apply in off-street car parks although some may allocate spaces. You should check the signs to see what concessions are available, and whether Blue Badge holders have to pay. Always display your Blue Badge when occupying one of these spaces. If you are unsure whether you can park, you should check with a traffic warden, police officer or the relevant parking attendant.
- The Scheme does not apply on the road systems at some airports (e.g. Edinburgh, Glasgow and Prestwick). You should therefore contact the airport concerned in advance to check the car parking arrangements.
Travelling outside Scotland but within the UK
If you are travelling outside Scotland but within the UK,
England, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own rules for Blue Badge parking. Details can be found using the following links.
Using your badge outside the UK
The Blue Badge is recognised in many other countries. Check the rules for the country you’re visiting. The link below is to a guide to international disabled parking. Be especially aware that rules in Europe may have changed since the UK’s exit from the European Union so do check details before you visit.
Information last updated on 27 January 2021. Please note that information may be subject to change. All information is provided in good faith but Disability Information Scotland does not endorse any product or service referred to within this resource.
If you would like this information guide in another version then please contact us and we will post or email you a copy.
Mobility, Travel & Transport:Frequently Asked Questions
Through our helpline we receive enquiries spanning a wide range of different topics. Here is a selection of those most asked:
How will PIP affect my ability to use the Motability Scheme?
The Motability Scheme enables disabled people to lease a car, powered wheelchair or scooter. Eligibility to use the Motability Scheme is based on receiving one of the following benefits.
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of DLA
- Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
Awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
For existing Scheme customers, their eligibility to remain on the Motability Scheme will depend on the outcome of their assessment for PIP. If you are awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP you should not experience any disruption to your lease as you move from one benefit to the other.
NOT awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
If you are not awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP you will not be eligible to use the Motability Scheme. Being forced to leave the Scheme will be a difficult transition for you and your family.
The Motability Scheme has put in place a one-off package of transitional support to those customers who can no longer use the Scheme as a result of their initial DLA to PIP reassessment. This transitional package will include guidance on your mobility options and next steps, financial support if eligible, advice on buying a second hand car, information on insurance, maintenance and other mobility solutions, as well as the purchase price of your vehicle. You will be able to keep the car for eight weeks after the DLA payments stop.
In addition, if you first joined the Scheme before the end of 2013 you will have the option to keep the car for 26 weeks after the last DLA payment. If you choose to keep the car for this extended period your transitional support payment will be reduced.
For further details of the transitional support process please visit the Motability website. Their website has a useful section with more detailed information on the transitional support package. You can also phone the Motability Scheme helpline on 0300 456 4566.
Am I eligible for a reduction on Vehicle tax?
You might be eligible for a reduction or exemption on vehicle tax if you are disabled and meet the eligibility criteria. The vehicle must be registered in the disabled person’s name or nominated driver’s name and must only be used for the disabled person’s personal needs.
You can apply for exemption from paying vehicle tax if you get the:
- higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
You can get a 50% reduction in vehicle tax if you get the PIP standard rate mobility component.
For more information contact our helpline on 0300 323 9962.
Can I use my Blue Badge in Europe?
The Blue Badge scheme is for drivers or passengers with severe mobility problems. The scheme provides a range of on-street parking concessions enabling Blue Badge holders to park closer to where they need to go. The scheme operates throughout the UK and is managed by local authorities who deal with applications and issue badge. The Blue Badge is recognised across Europe, so you benefit from the same parking rights as anyone else with a disability in whichever country you’re in.
Parking concessions for holders of a disabled parking card differ from country to country, so it’s important to check the rules in the country you’re visiting
For further information check out the worldwide guide to parking abroad by The International Automobile Federation.
How do I get a concessionary bus pass?
Concessionary travel gives free or discounted trips on public transport to eligible disabled people and older people living in Scotland. This information guide outlines the main travel concessions available, eligibility and how to apply. Concessions apply to buses, trains, ferries and some coach services.
Contact your Local Authority or Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) to apply for your National Entitlement Card. Find your local concessionary contact at the Transport Scotland Website.
You will need:
- a recent completed application form
- a recent photograph
- proof of age or disability
- proof of your current address
For further information see our Travel concessions for disabled people information guide or contact our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
How can I get a disabled parking space outside my house?
To get a disabled parking space outside of your house, you should contact your local council to apply for a disabled parking space. They will conduct an assessment which may incur a cost.
To apply, you must meet the following conditions:
- have a valid and current blue badge
- either be the driver of the vehicle or be assisted by a carer who is the driver, provided that the carer lives at the address stated
- the vehicle must be kept at the address stated in the application form
- there is normally difficulty in obtaining a parking space on the public road.
Bear in mind that the space can be used by anyone with a disabled parking blue badge and cannot be reserved for the sole use of the applicant.
For further information or help searching for your local council’s contact number then please contact our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
For more information on getting a blue badge, check out our Blue Badges Information Guide.
I would like to apply for a blue parking badge, where do I start?
The quickest and easiest way to apply for a blue badge is on-line. You will be asked a few questions to see if you may be eligible before applying.
The second option is to make an application through your local council. Many local authorities have applications available to down load online. If you do not have access to the internet then you can phone your local authority and request a paper copy be sent out.
Mobility, Travel & Transport:Search for Local Organisations
Our quick search tool can connect you to over 3000 service providers, suppliers and organisations supporting people across Scotland. To find support near you, simply enter your search term and select your local authority.