1 in 5 car parking spaces wasted due to bad parking

News entry dated 05th Oct 2017

Do you enjoy driving round looking for a parking space? Whether you’re out shopping or trying to park outside your own house, there’s little more irritating than having to hunt for a parking space day after day. Now, new data has shown that it’s not a lack of parking spaces that’s the issue. People are in fact parking so badly that a fifth of all kerbside parking spaces are going to waste.

Direct Line Car Insurance commissioned a review of 120 roads that were often described as being “full,” to find out why people were finding it so difficult to park on them. The study uncovered that 17% more parking space would be available on average if people parked more effectively. That would be enough to accommodate thousands of vehicles.

If everyone used parking assist technology, which helps find spaces that are the right size for your car, and ensures that you use the space correctly, this would go a long way towards freeing up the lost 17% of parking space.

The UK’s worst cities for parking

London and Birmingham were found to have the most parking space wastage, at 20% each. The study found that drivers in these cities left the greatest distance between their cars. Conversely, Brighton was found to have the most efficient parkers, with just 11% of space left unused on “full” streets.

Out of 2,000 drivers who were questioned as part of the research, 47% said that poor parking has caused them major frustration over the past year. Furthermore, 40% avoid going to the shops because they’re concerned about parking. This is bad news for the UK’s businesses.

When it comes to bad parking habits, 13% of drivers admitted to parking across two spaces in order to save a space for someone else. Meanwhile, 11% said they had put a bin in a parking space to secure it, while 38% had deliberately left space to protect their car.

A guilty 10% of motorists had parked in a space so small that others couldn’t move. By contrast, a whopping 73% had left space so that they could easily manoeuvre. The study also found that 31% of motorists had chosen a space based on the quality of the cars parked on either side of it.
 

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Parking with confidence

Looking at people’s parking confidence also uncovered a few surprising details. A fifth of people had parked away from home to avoid parking in a difficult space. Around the same number had asked a friend or relative to park for them. In addition to this, 18% of drivers had given up on trying to park in a space because someone was watching them.

Inrix has calculated that Brits spend an average of 44 hours per year looking for parking spaces. That adds up to £733 per driver in wasted fuel, time, and emissions. The situation is even worse in London, where people spend as many as 67 hours per year trying to park, at a cost of £1,104.

Belfast, Leeds and Bristol also score highly when it comes to time spent searching for a parking spot. On a UK-wide basis, it has been suggested that a total of £30 billion is wasted on this time-consuming exercise every year.

The worst parking in the UK?

One of the worst cases of parking that was reported on earlier in the year was that of a driver who had parked their Seat over four parking spaces. The motorist was concerned about another driver hitting their vehicle. The selfishness involved caused uproar.

By parking inefficiently, drivers are wasting valuable space that could be used by other motorists. Bad parking habits mean that people are spending an unreasonable amount of time and money searching for somewhere to park.

With this in mind, it may be that parking assist technology should be on everyone’s car wish-list in the future. This could make parking a more efficient and less stressful task for drivers up and down the UK.

Do you ever park across two spaces in order to protect your car? Is doing so common sense or pure selfishness? Leave a comment to share your views. 

Comments

68 Comments On "1 in 5 car parking spaces wasted due to bad parking"

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Dave Reardon
Dave Reardon
We have a particular parking problem on our estate. People who use it as a park and ride. They take advantage of the lower house prices out of town but do not want to put up with the once an hour bus service. They do not want to pay the inflated parking fees in town or where they work so they park their cars on our exit roads as near to the frequent buses stop as possible. This reduces our exits to one lane with cars leaving and entering every minute. The lazy people living on the main road make… Read more »
Miriam Orriss
Miriam Orriss
One of my major bugbears is people parking selfishly. I always take care to park in a way that leaves maximum room for others, for example, if I am at the end of a parking bay I make sure my wheels are on the line which denotes the end of the bay. So often I see cars parking 4 or 5 feet in from the end of the bay. I watch cars zoom into a double space and park right in the middle, leap out of their cars without any consideration of other people or to the fact that they… Read more »
Ken
Ken

Car parking sizes in the UK do not reflect the fact that cars are bigger than ever (Minis for instance…BMW Should be fined under trade descriptions – but it proves a point) Add to this the ignorant people who just throw their doors open without thinking, and that is why some people (who value what their hard earned cash has bought) park in what seems to be an inconsiderate way. If somebody opened a City Centre Car Park with bays 20% bigger than normal, they could charge more – and fill it.

Deepdale
Deepdale
We have the same in Preston Lancasire County Council do not care less and this is ongoing over 15 years. LOADING BAY AND THE TRUCKS IS ALWAYS PARKED PERMANTLEY. THERE IS NO TIME PLATE AND TIME IS ALWAYS TAKEN OFF. DOMINES TRUCK AND OTHER DELIVERY DRIVERS HAS TO PARK ON THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. LIMITED BAY IS NEVER FREE, OCCUPIED BY DISABLED BADGE HOLDER AND THERE IS NOT MUCH MOVEMENT BY THESE DISABLED BADGE HOLDERS. THIS NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT URGENLTY !!! LOADING BAY IS NEVER FREE, THE TRUCKS IS ALWAYS PARKED PERMANTLEY AND THIS LOADING BAY IS… Read more »
Eve
Eve
I used to live in a city residential area and as a consequence learned to get into the smallest of spaces – if you couldn’t park, you would just be driving around all evening looking for a space. However, I never blocked/tapped other cars – one of my bug bears. These days, I’m absolutely fed up with taking my car to the supermarket, only to come and find it scratched and dented – some drivers seem to think it’s ok to leave trolleys against your car, or cut across your bumper etc. Then you have the expense of bodyshop repairs… Read more »
Jeff
Jeff

Once I challenged a driver who had blocked the entire pavement forcing pedestrians to walk on the road. His response “I can’t block the road can I ?”. As a driver my self I found this belief that blocking paths for pedestrians was not a problem so long as you are not blocking the road for other vehicles ridiculous but unfortunately commonplace. Where is the sense in it – after all we are all pedestrians once we get out of our cars.

M Thompson
M Thompson

What a lot of wimps on this site, you all have the advantage in your hands, if someone blocked my access and they are aggressive towards me I have the advantage it is called a carving knife, they are very useful in letting air out of the tyres of selfish car owners who block my access, I have used this cheap and fast useful tool it always works and I have never ever had a repeat offender. So get aggressive you people and protect you rights.

sean
sean

can’t say I’ve seen 20% of spaces wasted, mind you, I’m in civilised surrey……

Ian Titler
Ian Titler
My wife and I are disabled and both think driving standards have slipped badly. Part of it is the “instant gratification” prevailing, they expect to stop where they want, no fuss (like actually parking straight). We quite often see disabled spaces obstructed by the “I’ll only be a minute” club.We live in a small disabled adapted bungalow in a dead end street, not designed even for one car per house. We tried to get out one night and found a local priest/vicar (didn’t ask) parked sideways across our front porch, preventing us leaving the house. he was quite offended when… Read more »
Tony c
Tony c

Why don’t drivers park on the driveway instead of the road. Are they that paranoid that someone is going to park in front of there house

Make a law to say you must park on your driveway overnight if you have a driveway

Dave Thaw
Dave Thaw

You can often find either my, or my wife’s car parked in the road and a vacant driveway. That is because one of us is out in one of the cars and we need somewhere that we can be sure that we can park when we get back because all the bad parkers take up any spare spaces. You can park ten cars adjacent to our house, this is usually reduced to eight or even six due to bad parking, all by people who bought a house down the road without a parking space and own more than one car.

Brian
Brian

Walthamstow in London, selfish drivers at the End of parking bays not going to the lines at the END then 1 extra space could be available in the centre, people should be informed of the parking.

Mark Sweeney
Mark Sweeney

Same here.Cul-de-sac and people believe space outside their house is theirs to block road while their drives are empty.Council not interested,told me to see police who don’t care.Laugh when their house is on fire and fire engine can’t get near.

Mark Sweeney
Mark Sweeney

You should see my street.People too lazy to park on their drives and using pavement/road causing chaos for service vehicles.Police just turn a blind eye to it.

Robert Bacon
Robert Bacon

Most parking spaces are way too narrow meaning that careless people put paint & even small dents when opening their doors hard. I am guilty of using mother & baby spaces at times as they ARE given enough room to open the doors without difficulty.

DuggleB
DuggleB

IN kerbside parking too many just leave their car in the middle of the space instead of thinking and moving to one end to allow another car in.
In supermarkets the main issue is the ‘swing in at an angle, that will do, I’m OK’ attitude, especially prevalent in the larger people carrier / 4×4 owners

Cath bilsland
Cath bilsland

It amazes me that people don’t realise that tactile paving is for the visually impaired to help them cross the road that car parked on the corner completely on the tactile paving should be towed away and they wouldn’t do it again

Thomas
Thomas

I can say with certainty that the six scratches and dents now on my car were caused by other people whilst my car was parked. I don’t use more space than necessary. My solution is not to buy a new car even though my car is now 10 years old and I would love to have a shiny new car. I live in London. That saves me getting angry when yet another plonker causes damage but doesn’t take time to say sorry or, god forbid, offer to pay for the repair. They just drive off.

Dibz
Dibz

If people had more respect for other people’s property then people wouldn’t hog parking spaces. There is nothing worse than comming back to your 20k car and find a mother putting the baby in a rear seat knocking seven bells out of your car with her rear door.

Frank
Frank

This will all be a thing-of-the-past in a few years, when nobody owns cars and we all rent driverless electric cars for each journey at a tenth the price of a current taxi.

Alasdair
Alasdair

Agreed but will that be a good thing?

bishbut
bishbut

Many drivers do not park ! They abandon their cars as near as possible to where they need to be so that they do not have to walk at all Many have forgotten they can walk having driven everywhere for years

DuggleB
DuggleB

especially annoying is the increasing practice of ‘I’m only going to be a few minutes so I’ll leave my car here & block everyone else syndrome’

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