Families travelling to London, Manchester or Bournemouth in the coming months will be glad to hear that UK car parking firm National Car Parks (NCP) has decided that it’s time for car parking spaces to be enlarged. The reason for this change is that the company has recognised the growing need for larger car parking spaces due to the increasing size of family cars, 4x4s and SUVs. Currently, the standard size for car parking spots in the United Kingdom is 4.8×2.4m, however, newer family cars such as the Land Rover Discovery and BMW X5 are both longer than the standard parking space length, along with other popular SUV models such as the Mercedes GL-Class.

Parking Accidents

Being involved in an accident is the worst nightmare for a family, however, more accidents are now taking place in car parks than ever before. Even if neither you nor your family are likely to be in the car, the damages, the added expense and insurance claims can cause unnecessary extra stress and strain for parents who were simply taking a family trip. Sadly, parking incidents have become more common, with over 675,000 reported each year to make up over 30% of the total amount of road accidents in the UK. NCP hope that by widening parking bays ‘wherever possible’, they can help to minimise the amount of damage and harm caused to vehicles and their inhabitants whilst in or finding a parking space.

Reducing Cost

Although NCP reported to The Times that there is a ‘fine line’ between balancing both the need to widen and lengthen parking spaces and the need to provide as many spots as possible to drivers, the firm have decided that increasing the size of parking bays is something that can no longer be avoided. Along with the increasing size of popular models of car, parking incidents are now costing UK auto insurance companies around £1.4bn each year. Accident Exchange, a company which loans courtesy cars to drivers who have been involved in incidents, reported an increase in the amount of drivers getting a courtesy car due to an accident with their own car in a car park. Director of operations Scott Hamilton-Cooper said that drivers are being increasingly forced to squeeze into small parking spaces that generally, haven’t been made any larger for some time.

Increase in Car Size

According to Hamilton-Cooper, cars are ‘outgrowing’ the standard UK parking space. When it comes to new car sales, large SUVs are now surpassing smaller hatchbacks in popularity and older, smaller models of cars are increasingly being taken off the street.  Drivers have also voiced their agreement on the widening of parking bays. As reported by the BBC, surveys showed that 90% of AA members think parking spaces are no longer big enough, the AA’s Sarah Lewis told the BBC. In the meantime, families who want a safe and spacious space to park their car can find various off-street private parking options at yourparkingspace.co.uk.

Do you agree with the widening of parking bays across the UK?