Does the UK need larger parking spaces?

Published Date: 28th Nov 2016

According to a recent study by the accident aftercare specialist, The Accident Exchange nearly 31 per cent of 85,000 accidents recorded between 2013 and August 2016 were parking related. The average parking bay in the UK is 4.8 metres long by 2.4 metres wide, the estimated cost of this every year is £1.4 billion.

The big popular SUVs like the Audi Q7 and Mercedes GLC are 5 metres long and almost 2 metres wide. Just navigating a multi storey car park in one of these can be quite a challenge with the narrow lanes, pillars and tight ramp turns, it makes them almost a no go area for the owners.

The research provided by The Accident Exchange estimated a 35 per cent increase in parking related prangs since 2014, and this is partly down to the SUV. The average bill to fix each repair is £2,050 with an estimated 675,000 car parking collisions every year that makes it around 1,859 every day.


By how much is the SUV market growing?

The SUV area of the Market has seen huge success in the UK with many manufacturers now offering a full range of models dedicated to the segment. Sales of the SUVs were up 44% in February 2016 when compared to the previous year.

Scott Hamilton-Cooper, Director of Operations at Accident Exchange, commented; “Drivers are having to squeeze increasingly large cars into spaces that generally haven’t got any larger for a very long time. Almost all of the councils we researched carried over the government’s recommendation, which makes things tight for large cars. This could be contributing to the rise in car parking incidents we are seeing. Manufacturers follow the market, and so cars are outgrowing parking spaces. 

“Not only are popular SUVs usurping smaller hatchbacks when it comes to new cars sales, older smaller cars are being taken off the street. The undoubted success of the SUV segment will have played its part – perhaps the roads aren’t quite ready for them because some drivers feel certain car parks are no-go areas due the sheer length and width of their cars.”