Are Our Cars Getting Too Big?

Wed 14th Jul 2021

It is no secret that cars in the UK have gotten bigger over the decades, but a new report has revealed exactly much much bigger they are than 60 years ago.

Data analysis by the RAC Foundation has looked at the most popular cars from the 1960s and compared their sizes to those today, finding that Britain’s most popular cars today require one third more road space.

The Austin Morris, Ford Cortina and Mini were on average 1.5 metres wide and 3.9 metres long in 1965, compare that to the VW Golf, Ford Focus and Mercedes A Class and these vehicles are on average 1.8 metres wide and 4.3 metres long.

Speaking about the growth spurt, the RAC’s Steve Gooding said that most garages are simply not adequately sized to cope with the modern car.

“Not only are cars getting bigger, there are also more of them,” he said.

“This is putting huge pressure on roadside space and explains why many of us feel that the parking bays in car parks don’t seem quite big enough.

“Crucially domestic garages are also often unfit for their intended purpose – the planning system needs to recognise that garage design needs to catch up with vehicle design, or throw in the towel and recognise that they are, in practice, garden sheds waiting to be converted to provide extra accommodation, which means thinking again about where the family car is going to be parked.”