Bigger cars don’t mean bigger parking spaces

Fewer than one in 10 councils across the UK plan on increasing the size of their parking bays despite modern cars getting bigger.

That’s according to data collected from 287 local authorities by Autocar, which also found that the most popular cars have grown since 2018, with their lengths going up by 97.7mm on average.

The new BMW 7 Series is nearly a foot (0.3m) longer than the outgoing model, meaning it pokes out of most parking spaces in the UK.

Currently, there are five councils that have a maximum length restriction on vehicles, risking fines for their drivers if they don’t park in a space big enough for their car.

Mark Tisshaw, Editor of Autocar Business, said: “We know that cars are getting longer and wider, typically due to ever-stricter crash and safety legislation they must meet, and these figures show too few councils are adapting to this new reality.

He added: “Space sizes should reflect the UK vehicle parc so that motorists can park without fear of damaging other vehicles or being fined for overstepping a bay.”

Thurrock Council has a maximum car space length of 5,350mm, while Wokingham, South Hams, Broadland and South Norfolk, and Devon all have a cap at 5,000mm.

The Autocar data also found that since 2018 councils across the region have issued more than 357,000 parking fines for cars parked outside marked bays – netting them over £8m.

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