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November 29, 2020

As Cars Continue to Grow, Parking Space Sizes Have Not

Car owners are being left with almost no room to squeeze out of their cars as cars have grown by as much as 55 percent since the 1970s, yet parking space sizes have remained the same. This is according to U.K.-based automotive shopping site, CarGurus.

The U.K.’s building code (just like the Philippines’s) hasn’t accounted for the growing sizes of modern vehicles. In the U.K., the standard parking space measures 11.52 square meters—smaller, but still close to the Philippines’s standard of 12.5 square meters.

In the most extreme example, the most recent Land Rover Range Rover takes up to 86 percent of the standard parking space in the U.K., leaving just 210 mm of room (less than a foot) for drivers to get out. In contrast, the Range Rover from the 1970s took up just 69 percent. Interestingly, if Nissan sold the current Patrol there, its 11.54-square meter footprint means it won’t even fit!

The trend hasn’t just affected large SUVs, either. Take for example the current tenth-generation Honda Civic. It has grown 44 percent since the 1970s, taking up 71 percent of a standard parking space. This leaves drivers and passengers just 300 mm (a foot) to get out. The Corolla isn’t far behind, growing 25 percent compared its 1970s counterpart, taking up 68 percent of a standard parking space (it leaves a 310 mm door opening). Even the Mazda3 has grown 31 percent—taking up 70 percent of a standard parking space (300 mm door opening). The biggest grower though is the MINI hatchback which has grown 55 percent since the original.

You can check out how a car’s growth affects the available parking space below.

Despite many cars already proving to be a tight fit in standard parking spaces, the growth spurt appears to be unrelenting. Cars have been growing on an average of 3 percent from generation to generation, meaning squeezing out of parking spaces will continue to become more and more challenging for drivers.

While parking space guidelines haven’t taken into account the growth spurt in modern cars, at least many modern cars come with technology to help with parking including parking sensors, reversing camera, and even automated parking.

However, it’s 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.

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