Tesco and Sainsbury’s shoppers who drive to stores have been issued a warning about where they park.

As the cost-of-living crisis bites, many shoppers are opting to do smaller, more regular, shops instead of one big weekly shop.

As a result, they are spending less time in the stores. However, a warning has been issued to those shoppers that just popping into the supermarket could see them hit with a fine.

The issue lies in where people are choosing to park at the stores, with many choosing to park in parent and child bays without having children with them, purely because they are just nipping in.

Sainsbury’s has issued a warning to anyone doing this, saying its team “regularly monitors” the car parks, and drivers guilty of misusing the spaces could receive a penalty charge.

With supermarket car parks often falling on private property, there are no official government or council rules on use of the bays.

This means it is not illegal to park in the space without a child, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be issued with a fine in the same way you can be issued a Parking Charge Notice for overstaying in a supermarket car park.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman told the Manchester Evening News: “For added convenience we offer a limited number of parking bays specifically for customers shopping with children. Our parent and child bays are for customers accompanied by one or more children up to the age of 12

A Tesco spokesman added that parent and child bays were there to help parents of young children who may need additional space to get shopping, their child, or prams and buggies in and out of cars.

They added that the spaces were clearly marked as parent and child spaces and that any breach may result in a penalty charge notice.