Parents forced into smaller spaces as drivers admit to breaking parking rules for 'better' bays

Parents forced into smaller spaces as drivers admit to breaking parking rules for 'better' bays

WATCH: Danny Kelly discusses expensive parking fines

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 17/05/2024

- 11:51

Drivers can be fined £300 for parking in wrong bays

Almost a third of drivers have admitted to breaching parking rules in order to get better parking spaces, according to new research.

New data has found that 28 per cent of drivers have used a parent and child parking bay without having their child in the vehicle with them.

The figures come as nearly two-fifths of parents struggle with finding parking spots in car parks, supermarkets and shopping centres.

The parking bays are usually for parents with children under 12 years old and feature much wider spaces.

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child and parent parking bay

Parking in bays without a child could result in £300 fine


However, recent data has revealed that 37 per cent of parents with young children have had to park in regular spots due to the designated spaces being used up.

In private car parks, drivers who use special bays could be fined up to £300 for misusing the parking rules.

On top of parents not being able to park in the designated bays, drivers have been left frustrated with the unintentional damage caused by parking in narrow spaces.

One in 10 drivers revealed they have damaged their own vehicle attempting to remove a car seat.

Meanwhile, an additional 10 per cent said the narrow spaces caused them to damage the vehicle next to them.

Nicholas Mantel, head of Churchill Motor Insurance, said: “Parents will be all too familiar with having to drive countless loops of a car park to find an available parent and child bay, only to see that the already limited spaces have been taken by those without kids.”

Mantel added that the “squeeze” faced by parents because of widening cars and parking bays particularly impacts those with newborn baby seats who need additional space to get babies out of their cars.

He warned: “Misusing parent and child bays not only inconveniences parents who genuinely need them, it can also result in a hefty Parking Charge Notice.”

Churchill estimated that it costs drivers roughly £223.50 to repair damage from car scratches caused by parking in smaller bays.

A further 71 per cent of parents surveyed revealed they have difficulty taking their child out of the car seat because of a lack of space.

Alarmingly, 44 per cent of parents detailed how this was a challenge they faced on a monthly basis.


A parking restriction notice on South Carriage Drive in Hyde Park, London

Parents face monthly issues with parking bays


One in five parents with children under six have had to resort to leaving the car seat in the vehicle.

Churchill found that a further 17 per cent of parents have even hurt themselves in an attempt to get the car seat out while in the parking bay.

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