Drivers plead for more expensive parking charges for ‘unpopular’ large cars that dominate city centres

Drivers plead for more expensive parking charges for ‘unpopular’ large cars that dominate city centres

WATCH: Discussion about parking fines

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 10/04/2024

- 14:20

British drivers have called for the introduction of higher parking fares for larger vehicles which are seen as “too big” for city streets.

New research found that six out of 10 drivers backed charging larger vehicles more to park in public spaces in the city.

A further 37 per cent stated that larger vehicles are too big for city streets while the same percentage highlighted that they are too polluting.

This follows a public referendum in Paris, France, where residents voted to hike the prices of parking for larger SUV-type vehicles, with many now calling for similar rules in the UK.

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A group of cars with parking fines

Motorists are calling for larger vehicles to spend more on parking


The data revealed how just over a fifth (22 per cent) of drivers thought it was a good idea to charge more money to dissuade drivers from bringing these vehicles into urban areas.

However, 28 per cent of those surveyed believe that all private cars should be treated the same in cities, while 15 per cent said that parking spaces should be made bigger for all cars.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “We asked this question following news that parking charges in Paris have been trebled for any vehicle weighing more than 1.6 tonnes and wanted to see whether there was an appetite for similar moves here in the UK.

“The answer very much appears to be yes, with a strong majority believing that drivers of big 4x4s and other large cars should be paying more.

“There seems to be a pretty common view that they are oversized and generally unpopular.”

More than one in 10 of the survey respondents suggested that any law changes would be useless and would not prevent drivers from parking in one place or another.

Under Rule 244 of the Highway Code, vehicles must not park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, yet some larger vehicles have no choice.

It states that vehicles with a maximum laden weight of over 7.5 tonnes such as large vans must not be parked on a verge, pavement or any land situated between carriageways, without police permission.

The code details that parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs and people with pushchairs.

Burgess added: “It’s a reasonable point to make that anyone who can afford to be driving a car of that size may have less of an issue with paying higher parking fees.”

According to the European Federation for Transport and Environment, more than half of new cars sold in 2023 were too wide for the minimum specified on-street parking space (180 cm) in major UK cities.

Richard Hebditch, UK director for T&E UK, said: “The trend of cars getting wider has been progressing for decades and that trend will continue until the UK sets stricter limits. Currently, we allow new cars to be as wide as trucks.


SUVs in Paris

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo suggested that other cities would follow the lead of Paris


“This has meant our roads are now home to big SUVs and American-style pick-up trucks that are parking on our footpaths, endangering pedestrians and cyclists and making everyone else on our roads less safe.”

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