No shortage of parking spaces here – but this isn’t always the case. The number of civil actions relating to parking in parking facilities and on housing estates is on the increase. Stock photo: iStock

Cars are too wide and parking spaces too narrow

SINTEF is recommending that parking spaces should be made wider – because passenger cars are getting bigger, and the number of civil actions relating to parking is on the increase.

SINTEF is recommending that the width of a parking space should be increased from 2.5 to 2.6 metres.

The recommendation applies not only to housing estates, but also to other built-up areas and business premises.

“On the one hand, it must be possible to drive in and out of a parking space without any difficulty”, says Senior Adviser Anders Kirkhus at SINTEF.  “And on the other, there must be enough space to enable you to open the doors in order to get in and out. This applies to all of the car’s doors”, he says. Kirkhus is co-author of a new set of instructions for parking place design

According to SINTEF, functional parking entails that everyone seated in a car can remain in the vehicle until it is parked. This will reduce the risk of serious accidents occurring in parking facilities.

“The need to widen parking spaces is currently also being recognised in other countries”, says Kirkhus. “For example, earlier this year in Germany, a recommendation was issued to increase parking space widths from 2.5 to 2.65 metres”, he says.

Many disputes that arise in connection with indoor parking facilities are due to space restrictions around supporting columns. Columns can make it difficult for cars to manoeuvre. They can prevent passengers both from opening the doors properly and from leaving the parked car.

“The revised Norwegian instructions have been expanded to include clear recommendations as to how such challenges should be addressed”, explains Kirkhus. “They are also clearer about the need for space at the end of streets with parked cars and immediately inside gateways”, he says.

The instructions are focused primarily on the parking of passenger cars. SINTEF is currently working on a separate set of instructions for cycle parking.

You can read more about the design of parking places here (at in Norwegian).