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How Our Cars are Outgrowing the Traditional Parking Space


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How Our Cars are Outgrowing the Traditional Parking Space

With our cars becoming so much wider and larger than they were 50 years ago, and the standard size of a typical parking space not really changing.  Is it time for our car parks to be overhauled and designed differently?

With family cars and 4 x 4’s becoming more and more norm, we have all most likely been there, squeezing yourself into (and out of!) what seems like the only tiny space left, in a packed car park.  It is not the easiest or most comfortable thing to do and it is only getting worse as cars continue to grow to suit our needs.  According to Accident Exchange, a courtesy-car firm, there are now almost 2,000 parking prangs a day, costing us British motorists £1.4 billion in the past 12 months, representing 30.85 per cent of claims recorded by the company.

National Car Parks (NCP) said it had widened some bays in London, Manchester and Bournemouth to cope with the popularity of increasingly large cars, and the firm has said that it plans to widen parking bays “‘wherever possible’ there was an ‘extremely fine balance’ between the demand for wider spaces and the need to maximise the number of spots. It is inevitable that people will complain if the car park is continually full so town planning going forward is only going to become more complicated.

The standard parking space in the UK is 15.7ft (4.8m) in length, by 7.8ft (2.4m) in width.

However, the latest models of the Audi Q7, Land Rover Discovery, BMW X5 and the Mercedes GL-Class are all longer than 4.8million, while many smaller models have also increased in size.

There is perhaps one saving grace of this problem, and that is the rise of the self-driving car, they will in fact reduce the space required for parking even further, especially if there is a sharing scheme in place.  The requirement to have a parking space where we spend time is fast becoming something we don’t need, if you are in the office all day, your car does not need to be there too.  It also will of course also prevent any prangs or near-misses, saving you on that nasty repair bill.

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