Car enthusiasts in Britain going to extreme lengths to protect their cars from those who are “parking challenged”, by deliberately parking across two or more spaces – in an act which has now become known as “Clarkson Parking”.
The controversial parking technique, named after Jeremy Clarkson, appears to be becoming increasingly common among car enthusiasts – who are taking to social media to brag about their ambitious parking positions.
The parking phenomenon is no doubt fuelled by the fact that cars are generally getting bigger as the years go by, yet parking spaces have remained the same size they’ve always been – which can only result in an increase in car park scrapes. But it has been suggested that this isn’t the only factor, and that the expansion of people’s waistlines over the years means that drivers must open their doors further in order to enter or exit their vehicles.
According to Edmund King, chief executive of the AA, said “The increasing size of vehicles is having an effect on bad parking as car parks were designed in the Fifties and Sixties when cars were much smaller. But some drivers are also worried about being able to get out of the car once they have parked without getting stuck. So this is also a reflection of a rise in obesity in people.”
Most recently, a man who was shamed on social media for parking over two spaces claimed he does it to protect his car from “clowns who can’t park or drive”. Luke Varley, 24, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was tagged in a post on a Facebook group called ‘Parking like a twat’ after a local shopper spotted his £16,000 second-hand Astra GTR VXR positioned squarely in the middle of two spaces at a supermarket.
Varley said: “I park like that every time if I am staying somewhere for any length of time. If I am nipping in a shop for a couple of minutes I might not do it, but if I know I’m going to be a while then I will do it. If there was a real shortage of bays available then I might not do it as I would see why people would get annoyed. “I can see why people get annoyed when they see it. Someone who just can’t park properly is annoying but that’s not what I’m doing.”
According to Accident Exchange, there are now more than 675,000 car parking collisions and scrapes in the UK each year, costing drivers a total of £1.4 billion. With that in mind, perhaps all these “Clarkson Parkers” are on to something?