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National Car Parks (NCP), the UK’s largest car park provider, says that car parking spaces are having to be made bigger to meet the growing size of family cars and 4×4’s.  NCP plans to widen parking bays wherever possible.

Accident Exchange says that parking related incidents now account for 30% of all accidents.  A spokesman from the British Parking Association says the standard bay size of 4.8m by 2.4m was put in place some years ago.

However, many cars are now bigger than this! I mentioned to my husband only recently as we were parking in an underground car park that the spaces need to be wider.  Quite often I have to get out of the car before he parks it, because sometimes there is just not enough space for me to open the passenger door properly when our car is parked next to another one.  If I do try and squeeze out between the cars, there’s the worry that I might scratch somebody else’s paintwork.

I realise the owners of the car parks will take a big drop in profits if there are less spaces, and so this is probably the main reason why the bays are not being re-marked.  Often though a wide 4×4 takes up one whole space and a little bit more, and so nobody can use the one next to it anyway.  Isn’t it annoying when that happens!

On another tack, I wonder whether the rising level of obesity has caused a shift towards bigger cars? Think how small the UK cars were in the 1960’s when people were smaller, compared to some of the ‘Chelsea Tractor’ gas guzzlers we have now.


Quite often we see huge people getting out of huge 4×4 cars, and so perhaps that’s why the demand for these makes are rising correspondingly with the weight of the general population? Who knows?

Do you think car park spaces are too small?