SUV popularity leads to rise in car parking prangs

New figures show that the value of prangs that take place in the UK's car parks has risen to a staggering £1.4 billion per year.

The data, collected by Accident Exchange, which offers aftercare services to drivers, highlights the fact that most car parking spaces are simply too small for the larger cars that UK drivers are buying.

The popularity of SUVs, such as the Audi Q7 has resulted in many drivers avoiding certain, particularly tight, car parks altogether. The average car parking space is, after all, just 4.8 metres long and 2.4 metres wide, much shorter than the length of some of the more popular SUV models.

The average cost to the driver of the repair for prangs is now £2,050, and there has been an estimated 35 per cent rise in such accidents since 2014. The research shows that parking collision numbers have now reached some 675,000 per year.

Independent garages are no doubt benefiting from the rise in these prangs as many drivers will be taking their vehicles along to their local garage to get small problems fixed. Garage owners need to ensure they have the right level of road risks insurance so that they are covered for any damage to cars they are working on.

Scott Hamilton-Cooper, director of operations at Accident Exchange, said: ‘Drivers are having to squeeze increasingly large cars into spaces that generally haven’t got any larger for a very long time."

He added: "Not only are popular SUVs usurping smaller hatchbacks when it comes to new cars sales, older smaller cars are being taken off the street."