One in ten drivers have no ‘car park etiquette’ – parking across bay lines or driving against the direction of traffic
Over a quarter (26 per cent) of cars parked in disabled bays were found not to be displaying a Blue Badge
SUV drivers are guilty of the worst car park etiquette, committing 31 per cent of all offences
A study1 conducted by Direct Line Car Insurance reveals one in ten drivers have no car park etiquette, committing offences including parking across bay lines, driving in the wrong direction or leaving their vehicle in a disabled bay without displaying a Blue Badge.

The analysis shows drivers are placing convenience over compassion, as more than a quarter of cars (26 per cent) parked in a disabled bay were found not to be displaying a Blue Badge. While supermarket car parks are privately owned and there are no universal regulations, parking in disabled bays without a permit can lead to fines and seizure of the vehicle. The supermarket giants Tesco, Asda and Morrisons request customers display a Blue Badge if parked in a disabled bay.

Researchers studied over 2,500 cars in UK car parks and found parking over the bay line is the most common ‘sin’ committed, with one in 16 cars (six per cent) spilling over the boundaries of their designated space. One of the issues that stops drivers maintaining good parking discipline is that whilst cars are getting larger, the width of spaces remain the same. A driver parked perfectly in their space, in an average width vehicle, next to a car that is parked on the line would be left with just 23 cm to try and squeeze out of their car2.

Drivers of Volkswagens are most likely to ignore common car park etiquette rules, with one in ten offenders sitting behind the wheel of this brand of vehicle, with other offenders including drivers of Vauxhalls (eight per cent) and Fords (eight per cent). When it comes to the model of car, the guiltiest drivers sit behind the wheel of an SUV and are responsible for nearly a third (31 per cent) of all offences. This is followed by superminis (18 per cent) and Multi-Purpose Vehicles (13 per cent).

Su Karki, marketing manager at Direct Line, commented: “Many of us are leading very busy lives and perhaps this may be leading to some motorists rushing, and in turn, parking across bay lines or failing to observe the direction of travel. This is particularly problematic when car parks are at their busiest, leaving people at greater risk of prangs as they meet traffic travelling in the wrong direction or are forced to park next to poorly positioned vehicles.

“As many of the claims we see are for incidents in car parks, we urge motorists to take the time to manoeuvre carefully and park within bay lines, as well as observe the flow of traffic. However, we know that not all accidents can be prevented which is why we recently launched a commitment to protect our customers’ No Claim Discount if their car is hit whilst parked and the person responsible doesn’t leave their details, as we understand how frustrating it can be to lose your hard-earned NCD in circumstances like this.

“Disabled bays are deliberately situated in the most convenient positions for those holding Blue Badges and should be left vacant for them. Anyone using them without need should have a think about the impact this could have on those who do and exercise some compassion and patience in future.”