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Cramped parking spaces causing more dents and scratches

If you’ve started noticing an increasing number of nicks, dents and scratches on your car, it might not all be down to your terrible driving. Parking spaces are getting smaller, or rather, they’re getting more crowded because cars are getting larger.

Cars have grown in size while parking spaces have stayed the same.
Cars have grown in size while parking spaces have stayed the same.

Modern cars are 16 per cent wider than they were 20 years ago with the average car now two inches wider than the 1.80-metre (5”11) standard space size. Even cars we’d consider common sights on British roads, the Ford Focus and BMW 3 Series, are too wide to be accommodated (182.4mm and 203.1mm including mirrors, respectively).

As a result, motorists are having to squeeze in and out of spaces, often scrathing theirs and other people’s cars in the process. A survey by high street chain Halfords found over ten million car owners suffered scuffs and scratches as a result of unwated contact in car parks over the past year, with thirds of them haing to pay more than £50 to fix bodywork.

Car doors were the most likely to suffer dings, accounting for 50 per cent of reported damage, followed by bumpers (14 per cent) and then wings (13 per cent).

Halfords paint protection expert David Howells said: “There is a squeeze on the nation’s car parks and the consequences are hitting frustrated motorists in the wallet.

“The majority of drivers we questioned blamed their scratches and repair costs on inconsiderate drivers parking too close to them but our research shows that the size of parking spaces is leaving them little choice.”



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