The cars we drive are getting bigger and bigger and, as a consequence, most no longer fit in our garages; rendering them unfit for purpose…
Too Big for Garages
Some of Britain’s favourite car models are a third larger today than they were half a century ago. As a consequence, they no longer fit a typical, domestic garage according to the RAC Foundation. Back in 1965, the top-fiving selling cars had a length of 3.9 metres and were 1.5 metres wide. Today, those figures sit at 4.3 metres and 1.8 metres respectively. Overall, that means a modern car takes up 32% more space on the road.
Unfortunately, the size of our garages has barely changed. On average, garage doors stand at just 2.1 metres wide. That leaves just 15 centimetres in space on each side of many go-to models in the UK. It shouldn’t be too surprising then, to learn that 53% of British drivers never park in their own garages; with 30% of those drivers citing the limited size of them as a primary factory.
Bulky SUVs now make up in excess of 40% of the global car market. Drivers are won over by claimed safety advantages and the perceived status that’s associated with a larger vehicle. Unfortunately, these vehicles are extremely harmful for the environment and, for some drivers, difficult to manoeuvre. Other segments have also seen average sizes increase, too.
Steve Gooding, director of RAC Foundation, commented on the growing size of our cars. He said, “not only are cars getting bigger; there are also more of them. This is putting huge pressure on roadside space and explains why many of us feel that the parking bays in car parks don’t seem quite big enough”.
He added, “crucially domestic garages are also often unfit for their intended purpose – the planning system needs to recognise that garage design needs to catch up with vehicle design, or throw in the towel and recognise that they are, in practice, garden sheds waiting to be converted to provide extra accommodation, which means thinking about where the family car is going to be parked.”
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