Modern cars are so big they’re making parking a nightmare

Darren Cassey, PA Motoring Reporter
·2-min read

Modern cars have increased in size so much that it is making parking difficult.

Britain’s most popular vehicles are now about 55 per cent larger than their 1970s equivalents, which is when parking space guidelines were first drawn up.

These regulations state spaces should be 2.4 metres x 4.8 metres.

However, despite the size of cars ballooning, these guidelines have never been updated, leaving many motorists struggling to fit into spots.

The research by online car marketplace CarGurus found that the biggest car, a Range Rover, takes up 86 per cent of a parking space and leaves just 21cm beside the car for occupants to get out.

Car sizes illustrated
(CarGurus)

The 1970s Range Rover took up just 69 per cent of the space, which is about the same as a modern Ford Focus.

The Honda Civic is now in its 10th generation, and has showcased one of the greatest growth spurts of any car on sale. It now takes up 71 per cent of a parking space, compared with just 49 per cent for the first generation. Despite being a relatively small family hatchback by modern standards, there’s just 30cm of space for the driver to get out.

Chris Knapman, editor at CarGurus.co.uk, 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.

“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!”

According to CarGurus’ research, the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, BMW 5 Series, Ford Focus, Ford Mondeo, Mercedes E-Class, Peugeot 308, Vauxhall Insignia and VW Passat all leave less than 30cm for the driver to get out.