November 26, 2016
Parking prangs increase by 35% average length of cars grows 0
The steady increase in the amount of cars that are too big for conventional parking bays has led to a huge spike in the amount of minor parking prangs over the past two years, a report has revealed. A 35% increase in bumps, has been fuelled by the increasing amount of drivers purchasing ‘Chelsea tractors’ – 4x4s and SUVs. 90% of council managed car parks still follow guidelines set out by Whitehall on the correct size of a parking space: 4.8 metres long and 2.4 metres wide. At present, low-speed parking accidents cost motorists or their insurers a total of £1.4 billion a year.
The majority of the most popular SUVs either exceed the standard bay measurements or fit in so tightly that opening a door whilst parked is practically impossible if vehicles are parked side by side. This is ruling out many car parks for drivers of such vehicles, says the report.
Even a Ford Mondeo – a relatively standard car by comparison – exceeds the minimum limit by 6cm.
The study, conducted by Accident Exchange, a company that provides motorists with temporary cars, if they’ve been involved in a shunt, says that 675,000 parking prangs that happen each year – 1,849 a day – make up 30% of the 2.2 million prangs that occur each year nationally, leaving motorists or their insurers with an average repair bill of £2.050.
The report mentioned that: “Modern cars are too big for Britain’s ageing parking spaces [which] are too small to cope with consumers’ love affair with big family sports utility vehicles.”
It noted that: “The average space is just 4.8m long and 2.4m wide. However, popular SUVs like the Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class measure in at 5m-plus and nearly 2m 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 motorists.”
The study also revealed that in addition to the increasing amount of SUVs on the roads, “smaller vehicles like the Vauxhall Corsa are significantly larger than their counterparts just 15 years ago – the popular hatchback has expanded by 16 per cent, a trend that persists across most vehicle segments”.
Car manufacturers say that many women like SUVs because the higher driving position gives them a better view, and they have more space.
Over the course of the survey more than 85,000 incidents were recorded between 2013 and 2016.
A spokesman for the company, Scott Hamilton-Cooper said: “Drivers are having to squeeze increasingly large cars into spaces that generally haven’t got any larger for a very long time.”