Study also shows VW drivers are serial offenders.
SUV drivers are the most likely to ignore “car park etiquette” by committing minor offences such as parking across bay lines and driving in the wrong direction, a new study has revealed.
A survey by insurance firm Direct Line found that SUV drivers commit almost a third (31 percent) of all car park offences, which include parking in a disabled bay without showing a disabled person’s Blue Badge – an activity that can result in fines and even the seizure of the vehicle.
The researchers looked at more than 2,500 vehicles in UK car parks, and found that although SUVs accounted for many of the “sins”, superminis such as the Ford Fiesta and the Vauxhall Corsa came in second, making up 18 percent of poor parking incidents.
In terms of car brands, Volkswagen drivers were deemed most likely to break the rules, with one in 10 (10 percent) of offenders driving the German ‘people’s car’. Vauxhall and Ford drivers came a close joint second, accounting for eight percent of offences each.
According to Direct Line, the most common sin observed was parking over the line that marks the bay – an offence committed by six percent of vehicles.
However, the company admitted that this may not entirely be the fault of drivers, as analysis showed that although cars are getting bigger, spaces remain the same size. According to the insurer, an average car parked perfectly between the lines of its space would allow the driver just 23cm of room to squeeze out.
Su Karki, marketing manager at Direct Line, said drivers’ busy lives could be to blame, with motorists rushing about their business and allowing their parking standards to slip.
“Many of us are leading very busy lives and perhaps this may be leading to some motorists rushing, and in turn, parking across bay lines or failing to observe the direction of travel,” she said. “This is particularly problematic when car parks are at their busiest, leaving people at greater risk of prangs as they meet traffic travelling in the wrong direction or are forced to park next to poorly positioned vehicles. As many of the claims we see are for incidents in car parks, we urge motorists to take the time to manoeuvre carefully and park within bay lines, as well as observe the flow of traffic.
“Disabled bays are deliberately situated in the most convenient positions for those holding Blue Badges and should be left vacant for them. Anyone using them without need should have a think about the impact this could have on those who do and exercise some compassion and patience in future.”