DRIVERS are being driven crazy by squeezing into parking spaces that have stayed the same size in decades despite cars doubling in width.

Motorists are being slapped with bills of millions of pounds from bumps and scratches in car parks as a result, new research shows.

Cars are up to 55 per cent wider than 50 years ago when parking guidelines of 2.4m x 4.8m measurements were created. 

Drivers have blasted councils and supermarkets for "cramming" motorists in and are demanding the size of parking spaces is increased.

Roger Lawson, a spokesman for campaign group the Alliance of British Drivers, told The Sun Online: "Certainly public car parks haven't got any bigger.

"In supermarkets they certainly have designed the car parks to fit in the maximum number of shoppers.

SPACED OUT

"Clearly, there is a problem. If you are parked alongside someone who has a Range Rover they tend to fill up the gap, so you have difficulty getting out of your car.

"There are some car parks I avoid because I can't get out of the car easily. I can get in the space but not get out.

"You can maybe squeeze out but then someone comes along and opens their door anddings your car so you get a lot of scratches on the car, and dents."

A Land Rover Range Rover takes up to 86 per cent of the standard parking space, leaving just 21cm of room for drivers to get out.

Councils try to cram as many people as possible into their on-street parking to maximise their income.

The 1970s model took up just 69 per cent, the same size as a modern Ford Focus, research for CarGurus found.

A modern Honda Civic now needs 71 per cent of the parking space, up from 49 per cent originally, leaving just 30cm of space for drivers to get out.

The current MINI Hatch is now 55 per cent larger and takes up 20 per cent more of a space than the original car made from 1955 until 2000, leaving just 16cm less room for drivers to get out. 

The Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, BMW 5 Series, Ford Focus, Ford Mondeo, Mercedes E-class, Peugeot 308 and VW Passat have also grown, leaving drivers less than 30cm space to squeeze out.

Mr Lawson added: "The advisory sizes for parking spaces should increase. Particularly on-street.

"They make them not just narrow, but short, which actually makes it very difficult for some vehicles.

"Councils try to cram as many people as possible into their on-street parking to maximise their income.

"They should be updated to reflect the modern reality."

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