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VANARAMA has found that drivers of the six most popular van risk fines of £50 every time they park due to the average parking space being too small for their vehicle.

Vanarama compared the dimensions of 2019’s six most registered commercial vehicles (Jan – Nov) to that of the average parking space 2.4m x 4.8m.

Even the smallest variant of each vehicle, which is commonly the “L1” versions with the shorter wheelbase, will not fit into the average parking space. Width doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue, with five of the six vehicles managing to squeeze both sides into the spot.

Model2019 RegistrationsLengthWidthLength Over LineWidth Over Line
Ford Transit Custom48,9124.973m2.272m0.173m0m
Ford Transit24,5945.531m2.475m0.731m0.75m
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter23,9315.267m2.345m0.467m0m
Volkswagen Transporter17,6974.892m2.297m0.092m0m
Vauxhall Vivaro16,3854.959m2.204m0.159m0m
Ford Ranger15,6155.282m2.163m0.482m0m

The problem becomes more pronounced should you opt for one of the larger variants of each model, with the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter being the most obvious examples. The 4.8m length of the average parking space is eclipsed when compared to the length of the L4 Transit (6.7m) and L4 Sprinter (7.4m) versions.

UK high streets failing van drivers

Vanarama analysed four popular, busy suburban high streets around the country to discover what parking they offered van drivers. Gosforth High Street in Newcastle only offers 8 spaces for commercial vehicles making it hard for drivers to park up.

  • Harborne High Street, Harborne, Birmingham – 36 spaces
  • Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester – 29 spaces
  • Clapham High Street, Clapham, London – 18 spaces
  • Gosforth High Street, Gosforth, Newcastle Upon-Tyne – 8 spaces

Key findings

  • 520,000 UK van drivers typically spend over 20 minutes looking for a parking space for each delivery they make.
  • One in five drivers faces a gruelling shift of delivering over 150 parcels per day as they struggle to find a place to park.
  • The average delivery driver spends 1 hour and 40 minutes searching for parking every day.
  • Lack of parking for commercial vehicles is costing the UK economy £76.2 billion per year as drivers spend time searching for spaces.
  • Drivers of the 6 most popular vans risk fines of £50 every time they park, due to parking spaces being too small.
  • Many popular high streets around the country suffer from a lack of parking for commercial vehicle drivers, covering less than 1% of the total area.

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Chris Wright
Chris Wright has been covering the automotive industry nationally and internationally for 30 years. Following spells with consumer titles he became News Editor of Automotive Management (AM), Editor of Automotive International, International Editor for Detroit-based Automotive News, and Editor of Dealer Update. He has also co-authored several FT Management Reports and contributes regularly to


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