Shops were evacuated and an area of Durham city centre cordoned off after a suspect vehicle was reported to police.
The report came as the UK remains on critical alert after the suicide bomb attack in Manchester, meaning another terror threat is considered imminent.
However, Durham Constabulary have now confirmed the unattended vehicle on Saddler Street was simply parked illegally.
A spokesman said: "A report was received this morning of a suspicious vehicle in Saddler Street, Durham City.
"Just to reassure everyone this has now been removed it was actually someone who had parked illegally.
"He was subsequently given a fixed penalty notice. We would like to thank everybody for your continued vigilance. We will have extra officers on patrol over the busy bank holiday weekend."