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With the rise in the UK of SUV and 4×4 cars there has subsequently been a 35% rise in car park prangs that has cost £1.4 billion in repairs every year.

Claims firm Accident Exchange has said that annually there are more than 675,000 bumps and scrapes in Britain’s car parks, that’s 1,859 per day. The average bill to repair the damaged vehicles is £2,050 and they now account for more than 30% of accidents. The firm has also called for a rethink of government guidelines that recommend parking spaces are 15.7ft long and 7.8ft wide.

Scott Hamilton-Cooper, director of operations at Accident Exchange said: “Tight entrances and pillars have made many car parks ‘no-go areas’ meanwhile even hatchback cars are now much larger than 15 years ago.” The Vauxhall Corsa, for example, has increased in size by 16% in that space of time.

He continued on to say that: “parking-related incidents now account for more than 30 per cent of all accidents.”

The fact is that cars are getting bigger and car parking spaces have stayed the same. Research suggests that up to 87% of council-operated car parks are still using the outdated spacing guidelines. Yet a spokesman for the Local Government Association said that “making spaces larger would mean fewer spaces. Motorists would have to pay more for parking and wait longer for spaces.”

However, in response, leading car park operator NCP has widened some of its bays in major cities to deal with the increase of car sizes but they also share the same thought that there would be fewer spaces if this was implemented across all of its sites.

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