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UK drivers pay out £716m a year for car park prangsBack

CarParkPrangs Results from a recent survey have revealed that UK drivers are involved in 1,400 car park prangs every day, which represents a 4 per cent rise since 2010.

Researchers conducting the survey on behalf of Accident Exchange have cited poor visibility in modern cars and ancient rules that mean parking bays are not being created to fit the size of more modern vehicles.

There is around half a million car park collisions every year with the average repair claim as much as £1,428 which equates to £716 million per year.

One of the largest causes of the problem is parking spaces that are no longer big enough to hold modern cars, whilst local authorities are saving money by using outdated regulations that are up to 30 years old.

At present, councils are permitted to make bays up to 8ft 10inches wide, but most keep to the minimal dimensions of 7ft 6 inches in long-stay car parks and 8ft 2 inches in short stay.

Accident Exchange undertook its own research in Kingston-upon-Thames where it discovered that the average width of a car park space was just 7ft 8 inches.

Britain’s most popular new models are getting wider such as the latest Volkswagen Golf which is 6ft 7 inches wide. If parked in a parking bay in Surrey, this might give the new model as little as 6 and a half inches of clearance on either side. In comparison, the Mark 1 Golf from 1974 measured just 5ft 7 inches which provided a much bigger 1 ft 1 inch of clearance.

Larger vehicles have an even harder job of trying to squeeze into tiny gaps in car parks with poorer visibility in modern cars adding to the problem.

Neil Addley, managing director of Trusted Dealers said: “There’s no doubt that cars have got bigger over the past decade or so – and it does seem that car park spaces are shrinking. We have a lot of anecdotal evidence of people simply ‘not looking’ when they are reversing out of parking spaces – perhaps over-relying on parking sensors and technology. These relatively minor shunts can be expensive to repair.

“Many of our members now offer smart repairs to help cut the cost of repairs to motorists.”

The motor industry says some popular models have increased in width by up to a quarter in the past 25 years,

Posted by Leana Kell on 19/11/2014