British consumer publications Which one? The car models circulating on the market were analyzed and a surprising truth was found: more than 160 models are “oversized” compared to standard parking slots.
More specifically, 161 car models are longer than standard parking slots, 12 of which are up to 30 cm longer. In 2019, only 129 models were found unsuitable for standard parking slots.
The longest personal car model in the UK (not counting pickups, vans or motorhomes) is the BMW i7. When parked in a standard parking space, this car extends up to half a meter longer than the parking space, making it difficult for others or pedestrians to maneuver the car into the parking space.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a bit “short” when it is 44.6 cm long, and the Audi A8 is 37.2 cm long.
Not just length, there were 27 models in the study that were too wide, so the driver couldn’t comfortably open the door when parked next to another car.
According to reviews of Which one?Car models with a distance from the hip to the white line dividing the slot of less than 22 cm are classified as “very wide”. The width of Land Rover Discovery is 2.073 m, the distance between the doors and the line is 16.35 cm. This number is slightly larger than the length of the iPhone 14 Plus.
The Jaguar I-Pace is 2,011 meters wide. The BMW X5 is 2,004 meters wide, giving the driver or passenger about 19.8 cm on each side to “breathe” in the parking area.
Natalie Hitchins, home products and services editor, said: “Cars are getting bigger. While this may provide a more comfortable usage experience, it is a problem when jostling in a parking spot.”
The trend of “fat cars” forces parking lots to find solutions to accommodate larger cars, such as creating separate spaces for larger cars.
However, what did the British Parking Association accept? This adaptation is not easy, especially for multi-storey yards. Because the cost of change is very high.
Hitchins said: “Although some car parks are offering wider parking spaces, not everyone has the means to do so. As a result, some drivers will still find it difficult to access certain spaces, particularly multi-storey car parks “
All three of the widest models mentioned above are SUVs, and are often called “Chelsea tractors” due to their large size. Such large vehicles have long been criticized, with some road safety activists calling for a ban on large vehicles in pedestrian areas.
A study published in the Journal of Safety Research found that children are eight times more likely to die when struck by an SUV than when struck by a passenger car. The largest SUV weighs 2,000 kg, while the family hatchback weighs around 1,200 kg.
The debate about car size and traffic safety particularly flared up after eight-year-old girls Selena Lau and Nuria Sajjad died when a Land Rover crashed into a school fence in south-west London in July 2023.
Activists question why drivers need such large and dangerous vehicles in the city, especially when dropping children off at school.
Despite traffic safety risks, parking challenges and protests, SUVs are becoming an increasingly popular choice among consumers.
SUVs account for more than 40% of car sales in the UK, up from 20% a decade ago. And this is not just a British story.