Car size increase creates parking bay squeeze for drivers

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  • #130595 Reply

    Cars have grown by as much as 55% since the 1970s, leaving drivers little room to squeeze out of them in parking bays that have remained the same size, new research suggests.

    Parking guidelines haven’t changed in 50 years, says, which conducted the research.

    The recommended 2.4m x 4.8m leaves drivers little room to get out their parked car, it says, which is contributing to the thousands of incidents that occur in car parks every year, costing drivers and fleets dear.

    In the most extreme example, CarGurus research found that today’s Land Rover Range Rover takes up to 86% of the standard parking space, leaving just 21cm of room for drivers to get out. In contrast, the 1970s model took up just 69% – the same footprint as today’s Ford Focus.

    Research by the automotive shopping site, compared the most popular cars currently on UK roads, which had an equivalent available in the 1970s, showing how their footprint on the typical parking bay has grown.

    As cars have grown, many of the most popular vehicles are leaving little space for drivers to get out. For example, the 10th generation Honda Civic, one of the biggest growers from its first generation, now takes up 71% of the parking space, ballooning from 49% in the first generation and leaving just 30cm of space for drivers to get out.

    Chris Knapman, editor at, said: “It’s understandable why cars have grown so much over the years, and the dramatically improved safety standards of modern cars versus those of years gone by is an obvious benefit. However, as many motorists will no doubt confirm, it’s disappointing that parking space guidelines haven’t been updated accordingly.”

    The Mini Hatch was the biggest grower on the list; 55% larger and taking up 20% more of the typical parking space than the original that was produced between 1959 and 2000. This means it offers 16cm less room for drivers to get out.

    “Many of the latest cars are at least available with technology to help with parking,” Chris Knapman,
    The Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, BMW 5 Series, Ford Focus, Ford Mondeo, Mercedes E-class, Peugeot 308, Vauxhall Insignia and VW Passat have also all grown significantly to leave drivers with less than 30cm space to exit the vehicle.

    Despite many cars already proving to be a tight fit in standard parking spaces, the growth spurt appears to be unrelenting with CarGurus’ research finding cars are continuing to grow by an average of nearly 3% from generation to generation6, meaning squeezing out of parking spaces will continue to become more and more challenging for drivers.

    Knapman said: “Many of the latest cars are at least available with technology to help with parking, including parking sensors, reversing cameras, 360-degree view cameras and automatic parallel and bay parking functions.

    “Some even equip cars with features to help prevent car park damage, such as door edge protectors and Citroën’s Airbump Technology.

    “However, it is of course worth noting that no matter how easy the technology makes it to park, if the space is too small for your car none of it will help you to physically squeeze out of the driver’s seat.” compared the dimensions of the 23 most popular cars on the road today which had an equivalent available in the 1970s.

    CarGurus’ Car Dimensions Comparison: 1970s vs. 2020

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.
    Anything i post over three lines long please assume it is an article lol.

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #130601 Reply

    It’s something I’ve noticed for a while Brydo but not just parking bay’s. Living in rural Shropshire a lot of the roads where I live are bloody narrow.

    #130602 Reply

    I think this is the reason why so many non-disabled people park in blue badge bays.

    #130606 Reply

    I think this is the reason why so many non-disabled people park in blue badge bays.

    I think you’ll find it’s because they are selfish thoughtless tw@ts  🙂

    There's room for all God's creatures, right next to the mash and gravy 🙂

    #130615 Reply

    @Phaedra, couldn’t have put it better myself. 👍

    #130618 Reply

    Then again, I too have grown by over 30% since the 1970’s…ahem. Pie anyone?

    In life, it's not who you know that's important, it's how your wife found out.

    #130621 Reply

    Not for me, I’ve put a stone back on during the last couple of months!, I have a feeling Christmas won’t help either 🙂

    There's room for all God's creatures, right next to the mash and gravy 🙂

    #130662 Reply

    thank goodness I’m disabled  don’t need to squeeze into to spaces

    #130704 Reply

    Larger cars have certainly caused a change to how garages are used these days – not just storage and workshops but converted into family rooms, playrooms, gyms, home cinemas, home offices (newest ‘boom’ choice), etc.  Plus widening the drives.  Back roads around here, where people don’t have off road parking for their 2+ vehicles, are getting dangerously impassable even after they’ve parked on the pavements as well.

    #130705 Reply
    Menorca Mike

    My Golf car is big enough for me and my wads of bank notes

    BBC Breakfast expert, VW Golf driver.

    #130711 Reply

    I find wads of bank notes a bit inconvenient – because I have numb fingers I tend to drop them and then whoosh!  Gone with the wind.  Luckily, my golf can also carry a decent number of gold ingots, especially if I lay the back seats flat.

    Inveniam viam aut faciam.  😉

    #130714 Reply
    Menorca Mike

    Georgie sorry to go off topic but what can I put on my bird table that the squirrel won’t eat ? Want the small birds to have a meal I’ve got fat balls I squirrel proof holders

    BBC Breakfast expert, VW Golf driver.

    #130736 Reply

    The squirrels around here are very keen on the bits of peanut, sunflower seeds and hearts in the regular seed mix, but I’ve not noticed them bothering with the smaller seeds or meal worms (they’re mostly herbivores and only eat insects and eggs when really desperate.  Ditto acorns).  They don’t seem to go for the grated cheese, either, which the robins love.  Chopped grapes and sliced raisins/sultanas, though it can take a few days for them to twig it’s food.  I’ve seen birds avoid the bird table for days because there was a grape on it.

    If the garden’s relatively cat-free you could try chucking some quarters of apple under the bird table for the blackbirds and thrushes (I’ve only seen the blue/coal/great tits eat the apples when the fruit is still on the tree.  They seem to lose all interest once it’s fallen.  I’ve only seen one occasion of a squirrel eating a piece of fallen apple, and I’ve not noticed them trying the fat balls in the hanger, either, even though they’re easy to reach from the seed platform.


    #130737 Reply
    Menorca Mike

    Many thanks I love to see the robin will put some grated cheese on the bird table now

    BBC Breakfast expert, VW Golf driver.

    #130739 Reply

    It is surprising how much cars have grown over the past 50 years and was brought home to me a few years ago when I was behind a 1969 Triumph 2000, a model of a car I used to own back in the mid 70’s.

    I always had it in my memory that that car was massive back then but it looked almost a foot narrower than my 2014 VW Golf and I don’t consider the Golf to be a massive car.

    In the odd places I’ve had to park in standard parking spaces now in my disabled days where the BB spaces are full my current cars tyres are only an inch short of touching the white lane marking of the parking space on either side and although its an MPV its only a couple of inches wider than a standard saloon.

    All that said even the 1969 Triumph 2000 was large enough to carry 4 souls and a few Robins and Squirrels.😁

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