Cars are getting bigger.
Each time a manufacturer refreshes one of its existing models the chances are that it will be longer and wider than before.
Take the latest VW Polo for example. The supposedly dinky supermini now measures in at four metres long and almost two metres wide – that’s larger than the first generation Volkswagen Golf.
And one result of manufacturers increasing the size of their cars is that it makes them more difficult to park and pricier to own, with new research showing that hundreds are bigger than the standard UK parking space.
Will it fit? A new study has found that over 100 models sold new in the UK in the last decade are so long that they won’t fit into a conventional parking space
According to consumer organisation Which?, the standard UK parking bay is 16 feet long (4.8 metres) by 8 feet wide (2.4 metres).
A review of vehicle dimensions has shown than over 100 models sold new in the last decade are longer than these dimensions.
Many are nearing it in width.
That means it is becoming increasingly difficult for motorists to park – especially in pillar-filled multi-storey car parks – and to avoid damage to their vehicles.
Accident Exchange recently told the BBC that the number of crashes and scratches occurring during parking costs UK insurers in the region of £1.4billion each year.
Parking-related incidents account for around a third of all accidents, it said, with more than 675,000 parking collisions registered annually.
Director of operations, Scott Hamilton-Cooper, said drivers were ‘having to squeeze increasingly large cars into spaces that generally haven’t got any larger for a very long time’.
A massive 129 cars reviewed by the consumer association exceed the standard limit of a UK parking bay.
The list includes popular family cars, including the latest Ford Mondeo, Volvo XC90 and Audi A6.
Three of the worst offenders are shown here, with Which? detailing how much each model overhangs the standard UK parking bay
According to Accident Exchange, parking crashes and scratches cost insurers around £1.4 billion a year
However, it’s the Renault Traffic MPV, Nissan Navara (2005-2015) pick-up truck and Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid luxury car that overhang a UK bay by the most.
The trio are around half-a-metre longer than the standard parking space.
It suggests the customary UK parking bay is no longer sufficient for today’s cars and the dimensions are ripe for an upgrade.
Parking firm NCP said in 2016 that it had widened some bays in London, Manchester and Bournemouth to cope with the increasing popularity of large cars, namely 4x4s, and planned to extend spaces ‘wherever possible’.
The growing popularity of large SUVs means the UK’s average parking space is no longer sufficient for many drivers
The biggest cars on the market today
Which? highlighted seven current cars that are either too long for a parking space or excessively wide, so that the doors can barely be opened if there was another vehicle next to them.
Which? said the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid was among the worst offenders for being too long for a UK parking space
The hybrid version of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class luxury saloon measured in at 5.2 metres long, which is a whopping 44.6cm bigger than a standard UK parking space.
The non-hybrid version is 5.1 metres long, which is still 30cm more than the length of a parking bay.
Jaguar’s lengthy XJ is 32.2cm too long to fit into a standard UK parking bay
At 5.1 metres Jaguar’s flagship premium car is 32.2cm too long for a standard UK parking space, says Which?.
That means it sticks out of a bay by more than a foot, even if you park so close to the wall or barrier that you’re deafened by the parking sensor bleeps.
The Range Rover is an immensely popular car, but is becoming immensely more difficult to park
The Range Rover is a hugely popular model, even in big cities.
But at 5 metres they’re becoming increasingly difficult to park, measuring in at 19.9cm longer than a standard bay.
Even large family cars have grown so much that they are becoming a struggle to squeeze into a parking space. Take the Ford Mondeo for example
It’s not just expensive luxury models that feature in the list of too-long motors.
The family-friendly Ford Mondeo appears in the rankings. The current hatchback at 4.87m model is 7.1cm longer than a parking bay, while the model it replaced (2007 to 2014) was also 4.4cm bigger than a space.
Land Rover Discovery Sport
The Land Rover Discovery Sport is so wide – according to Which? – that you’ll struggle to get in and out of it if you park next to a wall or another car
It’s not just the length of modern cars that will be causing drivers a headache.
The latest Land Rover Discovery Sport is so wide that there’s only 16.55cm clearance each side of a standard bay – little more than a capped Bic pen – and that’s assuming you and other drivers have parked perfectly.
The Mercedes-Benz GLE is one of the cars that’s not only too long for a UK space, it’s also so wide that you can barely get the doors open within the proximity of a bay
Like the Land Rover, this Mercedes SUV only provides 19.85cm of room for a standard parking space each side – that’s about the same as a width of a piece of A4 paper.
It’s also 10cm longer than a conventional UK bay.
The BMW X6 is another enormous SUV that you’ll struggle to navigate into a parking space
A like-for-like rival for the Mercedes GLE is the BMW X6, and this sporty SUV is just as difficult to park and get in and out of in a multi-storey car park.
Navigate into a bay and you’ll only have 20.55cm to get out each side. The car also overhangs a standard space by 10.9cm.
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