Britain’s car parking spaces are too small to cope with consumers’ love affair with big SUVs, leading to nearly £1.4bn of car park prangs every year, according to data by Accident Exchange.
The average parking space is 4.8 metres long and 2.4 wide, however, popular SUVs measure in at five metres plus, and nearly two metres wide. With the added challenge of pillars and tight ramps in multi-storey car parks, manoeuvring larger vehicles is now making some car parks ‘no-go’ areas for some of Britain’s motorists.
With an average bill of £2,050 to repair accident-damaged vehicles, parking-related incidents now account for over 30% of all accidents. It is now estimated that there are over 675,000 car parking collisions of this type annually – a staggering 1,859 every day.
The SUV segment has enjoyed huge success in Britain, with figures in February alone revealing a 44% rise, compared with the same month last year. This could be a factor in the rise in parking prangs, despite packing technology to avoid accidents. But it’s not just the popularity of SUVs which is impacting the average size of vehicles, smaller vehicles are significantly larger than their counterparts just 15 years ago.
An Accident Exchange spokesman said: “Drivers are having to squeeze increasingly large cars into spaces that generally haven’t got any bigger. 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.”
The research examined over 85,000 incidents recorded by Accident Exchange between mid-2013 and August 2016.