City Cars

SUVs Are Becoming So Popular That A Parking Crisis Has Emerged In The UK

This is what happens when you don't think things through.

Since their advent, cars have been responsible for reshaping the city landscape as we know it, so much so in fact that it’s easy to spot the differences between cities that developed before the car and those that were built after. Sprawl cities like Los Angeles prioritize cars while others like San Francisco place a greater emphasis on alternative modes of transport. However, according to Auto Express, it isn’t just cars that are reshaping the city, it’s the types of cars that consumers are buying that are having an impact now.

It’s easy to see that low gas prices, a steady economy, and an increase in the number of crossover and SUVs available to the market has sent segment sales skyrocketing. That’s all good and well in the US where roads are wide and parking spaces are designed for large cars, but in the UK, the increase in the size of the average car is posing a bit of a problem. The UK’s current standard for parking space size is 4.8 meters long and 2.4 meters wide, but cars like the Mercedes GLS, Audi Q7, and BMW X5 are all longer than that. The implications of the size disparity are posing more problems than just making it more of a pain to look for parking, it has also led to an uptick in accidents.

The rapid shift towards larger cars is mirrored by the spike in the trend line of parking lot accidents. Since 2014, there has been a 35 percent increase in accidents that take place within a parking lot. To amend the issue, the UK’s National Car Parks said that it is enlarging bays in London, Manchester, and Bournemouth. Unfortunately, this also has the effect of using more space and making it so that each car park has fewer spaces. As one could imagine, this has set off debate between SUV owners and dissenters, but for the time being it appears that the era of the SUV has claimed another victim: small parking spaces.

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