Parking spaces need to be considerably larger, according to a major parking trader.

A new parking industry standard designed to ensure that spaces are large enough to accommodate modern vehicles is being called for by the car parking marketplace

The move is needed, it claims, after research showed that while parking spaces have remained approximately the same size over the past 60 years, some vehicle models have grown by more than 20% in width.

It cited a recent survey by the AA, which revealed that more than half of motorists have suffered damage to their car when parked in a car park over the past 12 months, meaning 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,” said 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 requesting driveways over car parks, purely because of their size, is remarkable.”

He said that many car models have grown considerably over the years. 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 12% wider than its original 1974 version; and the current Ford Fiesta is 10% 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.

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.

He said: “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.”