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Size of new cars to blame for increase in car park crashes

Date: 22 November 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Prangs in car parks now account for almost a third of all accidents in the UK, costing insurance companies £1.4 billion a year - and the increasing size of cars is to blame.

That's according to accident management company Accident Exchange, which said the number of car park incidents has increased by 35% in the past two years, based 85,000 incident reports compiled by the company in the last two years.

JATO Dynamics, an automotive data company said SUV sales increased by 44% in February compared with the same month in 2015.

According to Government guidelines, parking bays should measure 4.8x2.4m, and many large SUVs - such as the Audi Q7 and Mercedes GL - are both longer and wider.

These guidelines, however, were created in 1987 when the average car was a lot smaller - for instance, the Vauxhall Corsa, which has increased in size by 16% in the past 15 years to 4.0x1.7m

"Drivers are having to squeeze increasingly large cars into spaces that generally haven't got any larger for a very long time. Cars are outgrowing parking spaces," said Scott Hamilton-Cooper, director of operations at Accident Exchange. "The undoubted success of the SUV segment will have played its part - perhaps the road aren't quite ready for them because some drivers feel certain car parks are no-go areas due the sheer length and width of their cars."