Size Matters After All – The Car Parks Of Britain

According to a website called there is a pressing need for the introduction of SizeMark; a new parking industry standard designed to ensure that car parking spaces are large enough to accommodate modern motor vehicles. This will not be news to anyone who has tried to squeeze a giant SUV into a space designed for a Ford Anglia.

The move is needed, YPS claims, after research showed that while parking spaces have remained approximately the same size over the last sixty years, some vehicle models have grown by more than twenty percent in width. Backed up by a recent survey by the AA, the result revealed that more than half of motorists have suffered damage to their car thanks to door bangers and the like when parked in a car park over the past year. This means that many drivers are now shunning traditional car parks in favour of more spacious private driveways.

“When it comes to parking spaces, it’s certainly a case of bigger is better,” says Harrison Woods, managing director of “We see it every day – after location, the number one concern of motorists is the size of the parking space. The number of drivers who are now actively requesting driveways over car parks, purely because of their size, is remarkable.”

Growing vehicle size is a significant issue for car park owners and drivers alike. Today’s Mini Cooper is 24% wider than the 1959 original; the Honda Civic is 18% wider than the first model launched back in 1973. The Volkswagen Golf is nearly twelve percent wider than its original 1974 version and the current Ford Fiesta is ten percent wider than the original 1976 version. Furthermore, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, in 2013 more than 400,000 new cars were registered in the UK from the luxury, MPV or dual purpose segments, which typically include much wider vehicles.

Mr Woods believes that the solution could be new guidelines regarding the minimum recommended size of a parking space, proposing a SizeMark standard as an ideal solution. “It’s time that the industry introduced a recommended minimum parking space size so that drivers know what to expect. Our proposal is to introduce the SizeMark standard, where all car parks that meet this minimum size are awarded an instantly recognisable SizeMark badge to help drivers minimise damage to their cherished cars.”

All very laudable of course but whether it will be possible to convince councils and private car park owners to completely revamp their car parks with the potential loss of lucrative spaces is another matter entirely.
Geoff Maxted