Cars are getting bigger every year – but parking spaces are the same size. This fact has prompted car park giant NCP (National Car Parks) to consider widening parking spaces in some of its facilities.
Larger cars also mean that parking accidents have increased, which means the widening of parking spaces will make NCP's job easier.
There has been a 35% increase in car park accidents since 2014, according to recent research from the Accident Exchange.
These low-speed collisions tend to result in scratches and bumps rather than more serious damage.
Approximately 30% of all UK accidents are related to parking.
The sports utility vehicle – or SUV – now accounts for a substantial 27% of the entire car market. These vehicles are considerably larger than regular runabouts and offer a higher riding position along with an increased sense of safety.
Hatchbacks are also a lot bigger than they were in years gone by. The Vauxhall Corsa - hardly an old car – is now 15% larger than it was a decade and a half ago.
And one glance at the latest MINI Cooper makes a mockery of the model’s name. The 1959 version was much narrower. That said, the newest MINIs are still smaller than many cars on the road today.
As commentators have pointed out, there is likely to be a trade-off if parking spaces are enlarged: more space could well mean fewer spaces.
Unless more car parks are built, or more people opt for alternatives such as car sharing or public transport, it seems parking in the UK will remain problematic for some time to come.