I’m sorry, but yes — sometimes I take up two parking spaces. I hate doing it.

It seems anti social and un-British, but I find I have to do this about twice a month. But what is the alternative?

I’ll preface by saying I only do this if I have no other choice. Far away from the entrance in the quietest and least busy part of a car park where nobody will be inconvenienced by it if they even notice at all. But I still occasionally get snarky comments for doing this.

I have a big car, it’s rediculous. It is 5 meters long and 2 meters wide. It’s big because it’s electric, which means it needs space for its battery. A smaller car would mean either driving something that needs to stop for 30 minutes every ~120 miles or going back to spewing out emissions — which is something of a lose-lose situation.

The UK of course, is a tiny island. And space is at a premium. The end result is that in an effort to increase the number of parking spaces, the spaces themselves are pretty small. Given the UK’s general preference for smaller cars compared to our American counterparts this isn’t a problem for most people, but for those of us who for one reason or another drive a car that’s nearly as wide as a bus, this can sometimes cause headaches.

This is my car, parked almost perfectly in the middle of a space at one of my local retail parks here in Bristol, with the doors open the smallest amount that allow me to get in or out of my car sensibly without resorting to becoming a contortionist (and I’m a reasonably slender chap to begin with!).

There’s roughly 15cm (6 inches) of space on each side between the wheels and the bay markings, and the doors take up a even more than that into the bays either side of me. More if I need more space or if I’m carrying something.

Right now I’m basically taking up three bays, because despite my almost perfect parking, there’s now not really enough space in the two adjacent bays for someone else to come in and comfortably open their doors unless they’re in a very small car. No people carriers, vans or even medium-side saloons could comfortably get into those bays without themselves parking off to one-side and making the next bay unusable in turn, creating a chain reaction of bad parking.

The other reason? Dings. Being an aluminium bodied car, you can’t just take it down to your local panel beater and have it fixed in an afternoon for £200 if someone opens their door into it in fact you’d be lucky to walk away with change from a grand for anything more than the tiniest of knocks due to the specialist equipment and experience required for aluminium cars.

The sad result is that it becomes an insurance claim, which is expensive for everyone.

If I take up two spaces, and you sit in bays as normal. This can’t happen. I only do this if it’s really necessary and only in the quietest part of a car park I can find, far away from the main entrance(s) so I don’t actually inconvenience people for it. I try and specifically use EV bays where available which tend to be wider than normal for this exact reason.

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