Many cars today are so big they don’t fit into a standard parking bay


You’ve probably noticed that modern cars are getting bigger in size, not just wider but longer too and as a result, many of them now can’t fit into a standard parking space.

And whilst it’s nice to drive around in a bigger car, with more space for the kids, shopping or family pet, it’s a nightmare when it comes to parking in a bay.

A standard parking bay in the UK measures 16 feet long (4.8 metres) by 8 feet wide (2.4 metres), yet many car manufacturers are making their models not just wider but longer too, making it impossible for them to fit properly into a parking space.

Many cars today are so big they don't fit into a standard parking space

Oh no, my car won’t fit into the parking space! © Copyright Lewis Clarke and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


A recent look at the dimensions of more than 100 modern vehicles found they were longer than the standard size of a parking bay, meaning they stick out of the space and/or sit very closely to the vehicle next to them.

Motorists are finding it more and more difficult to park, especially in multi-storey car parks which tend to be filled with pillars around their standard sized parking bays.

The BBC was recently told by Accident Exchange that the number of accidents and scratches happening whilst parking is costing insurers in the UK around £1.4billion every year.

Incidents related to parking account for around one third of all accidents – over 675,000 parking accidents are registered each year!

Drivers were “having to squeeze increasingly large cars into spaces that generally haven’t got any larger for a very long time,” said Scott Hamilton-Cooper, director of operations.

Some 129 cars looked at by the consumer association exceeded the limit of a standard parking bay in the UK, with some coming in at around half-a-metre longer than a standard space.

It believes that UK parking bays are no longer adequate for today’s modern cars and an upgrade is needed regarding the dimensions.

A number of bays in Bournemouth, London and Manchester have been widened to accommodate today’s bigger cars, says parking firm NCP, with plans to further extend parking spaces ‘wherever possible’.


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