Small car park spaces coupled with rise of SUVs leads to £1.4bn of prangs

Time 10:07 am, November 21, 2016

BRITAIN’S car park spaces are too small to cope with big family SUVs, leading to nearly £1.4bn of prangs every year, according to data released by accident aftercare specialist, Accident Exchange.

The average parking space is just 4.8 metres long and 2.4 wide, yet popular SUVs such as the Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class measure in at five metres plus, and nearly two metres 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 Britain’s motorists.

The research undertaken by Accident Exchange, which assists vehicle manufacturers and dealerships in keeping motorists mobile in the event of an accident, estimated a 35 per cent increase in parking prangs since 2014, and the meteoric rise of SUVs could be a factor.

With an average bill of £2,050 to repair accident-damaged vehicles, parking-related incidents now account for more than 30 per cent of all accidents. It is now estimated that there are over 675,000 car parking collisions of this type annually – a staggering 1,859 every day.

The SUV segment has enjoyed huge success in the UK, with figures in February alone revealing an 44 per cent rise compared to the same month last year, which could be a factor in the alarming rise in parking prangs, despite packing technology to avoid accidents.

Scott Hamilton-Cooper, director of operations at Accident Exchange, commented: ‘Drivers are having to squeeze increasingly large cars into spaces that generally haven’t got any larger for a very long time.

‘Not only are popular SUVs usurping smaller hatchbacks when it comes to new cars sales, older smaller cars are being taken off the street.’

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Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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