The popularity of big utes and SUVs in Australia could see the average parking spot increase in size.
Since 1993 (when the last revision occurred) parking spots have been around 5.4 metres long and 2.4 to 2.6 metres wide – basically, big enough for a Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore to park without feeling cramped.
It’s only getting tighter.
The Guardian reported that one of the most popular Aussie vehicles – the Toyota HiLux dual cab ute – now clocks in at around 5.27 metres long, which leaves about 15cm of wiggle room in the average spot.
Some other vans and SUVs are pushing almost 6 metres.
“The last revision to the standard happened 18 years ago. The experts that we work with to put that in place looked at the average car that we drove back in 2004,” Standards Australia General Manager, Engagement and Communications, Adam Stingemore, explained.
“We have changed our national fleet significantly over the last quarter. Back in 2004 when we last reviewed the standard, about 13% of our national vehicle fleet was an SUV. It’s now about 40%. As our cars have changed, we also need to consider our car parks.”
Standards Australia wants to see 20cm added to the standard spot in off-street lots. From 5.4m to 5.6m.
The proposal has already proved controversial.
Marion Terrill, the transport and cities director at the Grattan Institute, told The Guardian that while Standards Australia’s proposal “is just reflecting what’s happening” on roads, there were better ways to respond to the trend.
“This normalises the behaviour of buying these enormous vehicles when instead the government should be nudging people in the opposite direction, especially as we are increasingly understanding the negative effects of larger vehicles,” she said.