Modern cars ‘too big for multi-storeys’

Two out of three motorists say modern cars are too big for multi-storey car parks – and 45% complain they have actually become ‘stuck’ in their cars after parking because there is not enough room to open the door.

A further 28% admit they have dented the car in the next space when trying to get out of their car. And more than a third of motorists say they have scraped their car while using a multi-storey car park.

The findings were from a survey of both motorists and car dealers by finance company Startline Motor Finance. It was prompted by recent research that found more than 160 new cars are now too big for the standard UK car park space.

More than 7 in 10 motorists believe that UK parking spaces need to be made bigger, while 54% say that only vehicles below a certain size should be allowed in car parks.

"Many multi-storeys still in use today were built in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, when cars were simply much smaller than they are today," says Startline CEO Paul Burgess.

Burgess points out that vehicles have grown substantially thanks to increased safety and comfort measures in the intervening years and research shows that drivers don’t feel they can drive around car parks easily as a result.

"The fact that many simply can’t get out of their cars once they are parked shows how bigger cars and undersized parking spaces just don’t match."

"Sadly, there is no easy solution. Cars are unlikely to become smaller any time soon, while rebuilding hundreds or thousands of car parks across the country is just as unlikely," he added.

Ask HJ

My car was damaged in a car park - will I lose my no claims bonus?

I was in a car park park and drove over a chain which was flat on the floor. The chain flicked when the back wheels went over and damaged the car back bumper. The security admitted the was their mistake and the chain should have been removed. The company who owns the car park has not responded over a week now. My insurance company is asking me to obtain a leþer from the company stating that they accept the negligence. Without this my insurance state that I will lose my no claim bonus. Where do I stand?
If you claim on your insurance and the car park owners do not admit liability then your no-claims bonus will be affected. Do you have any photographic evidence of what happened? Some insurance policies come with legal assistance which may help you pursue your claim here. If not, we'd seek independent legal advice against to determine what - if any - action you can take against the car park before making an insurance claim, as unless the car park owners admit liability in writing you will lose your NCB.
Answered by Craig Cheetham
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