It's no secret that cars are getting bigger. I mean, how many times have we heard the quip about a Mini no longer being actually 'mini'? Well, it turns out the continuing growth of cars is causing problems with parking too.

New research from CarGurus.co.uk has revealed that cars have grown by 55 percent since the 1970s but in the same period parking guidelines haven't changed, with a space size of 2.4 metres x 4.8 metres remaining the norm.

That's contributed to thousands of parking incidents each year, costing drivers a fortune.

In one example cited by CarGurus, present-day Range Rover takes up to 86 percent of the standard parking space, leaving just 21 cm of room for people to get out of the car. The comparable model from the 1970s takes up just 69 percent of the space. To put that into perspective, a 1970s Range Rover takes up as much parking space as a modern Ford Focus hatchback.

Another car found to be much bigger than its equivalent from the past, the Honda Civic now takes up 71 percent of a parking space, as opposed to just 49 percent of its first generation.

Illustration (to scale) demonstrating the amount of space the original MINI (37%), new MINI (57%) and new Range Rover (86%) take up in the 2.4m x 4.8m parking space

Oh, and while we're at it, let's revisit the Mini. Naturally it was the biggest grower on CarGurus list, now being 55 percent bigger and taking up 20 percent more of a typical parking space.

The full list from CarGurus' search can be found below.

"It’s understandable why cars have grown so much over the years, and the dramatically improved safety standards of modern cars versus those of years gone by is an obvious benefit," said Chris Knapman, editor at CarGurus.co.uk. "However, as many motorists will no doubt confirm, it's disappointing that parking space guidelines haven’t been updated accordingly. 

"Many of the latest cars are at least available with technology to help with parking, including parking sensors, reversing cameras, 360-degree view cameras and automatic parallel and bay parking functions.

"Some even equip cars with features to help prevent car park damage, such as door edge protectors and Citroën's Airbump Technology. However, it is of course worth noting that no matter how easy the technology makes it to park, if the space is too small for your car none of it will help you to physically squeeze out of the driver's seat!"

CarGurus' Car Dimensions Comparison: 1970s vs. 2020 

Ranking

1970s Make & Model

Space to open door (cm)

Area of parking space used up

Today’s Make & Model

Space to open door (cm)

Area of parking space used up

% increase in area

1

Morris/Austin/ Rover Mini (1959-2000)

50

37%

MINI Hatch 3dr (2014-)

34

57%

55%

2

Fiat 500 (1957-1975)

54

34%

Fiat 500 (2007-)

39

50%

47%

3

Honda Civic 1st Gen (1972-1979)

45

49%

Honda Civic 10th Gen (2016-)

30

71%

44%

4

Peugeot 104 (1972-1988)

44

43%

Peugeot 208 2nd Gen (2019-)

33

61%

42%

5

Renault 5 (1972-1985)

44

47%

Renault Clio V (2019-)

30

63%

36%

6

Mazda 323 3rd Gen (1977-1980)

40

53%

Mazda 3 4th Gen (2019-)

30

70%

31%

7

Audi 80 (1972-1978)

40

58%

Audi A4 B9 (2016-)

28

76%

30%

8

VW Passat B1 (1973-1981)

40

58%

VW Passat B8 (2015-)

28

76%

30%

9

Vauxhall Nova A (1982-1993)

43

48%

Vauxhall Corsa F (2019-)

32

62%

29%

10

VW Golf MK1 (1974-1983)

40

52%

VW Golf MK8

(2020-)

31

67%

28%

11

Ford Escort MKII (1974-1980)

42

54%

Ford Focus MKIV (2018-)

29

69%

28%

12

VW Polo MK1 (1975-1981)

42

49%

VW Polo MK6 (2018-)

32

62%

26%

13

Ford Fiesta MK1 (1976-1983)

42

48%

Ford Fiesta MK8 (2017-)

33

61%

25%

14

Range Rover Classic (1969-1996)

31

69%

Range Rover L405 (2012-)

21

86%

25%

15

Toyota Corolla 3rd Gen (1974-1981)

42

54%

Toyota Corolla 12th Gen (2019-)

31

68%

25%

16

Ford Cortina MKIV (1976-1979)

35

64%

Ford Mondeo MKIV (2014-)

27

78%

22%

17

Vauxhall Cavalier MK1 (1975-1981)

37

64%

Vauxhall Insignia B (2017-)

27

79%

24%

18

BMW 3 Series E21 (1975-1983)

40

61%

BMW 3 Series G20 (2019-)

29

75%

23%

19

Vauxhall Astra MK1 (1979-1984)

38

57%

Vauxhall Astra MK7 (2015-)

30

69%

21%

20

Peugeot 304 (1969-1980)

42

56%

Peugeot 308 2nd Gen (2013-)

29

67%

19%

21

BMW 5 Series E12 (1972-1981)

36

68%

BMW 5 Series G30 (2017-)

27

80%

17%

22

Mercedes 190 (1982-1988)

36

64%

Mercedes C-class 4th Gen (2014-)

30

74%

14%

23

Mercedes W123 (1976-1986)

31

73%

Mercedes E-class 5th Gen (2017-)

27

79%

8%