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How Big Is An Average Parking Space?

If you have a vehicle, it is good to get familiar with the standard size of a parking space in case your car has difficulty fitting in. You may wonder how big an average parking space is for a commercial or residential space. We researched the dimensions for an average parking space to help answer any questions. 

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The average size of a parking space depends mainly on its location. Depending on whether it is on public or private property or in a commercial or residential area, the size of a parking space may vary.

The average US parking space is 8.5 to 9 feet wide and up to 18 feet long. Parallel parking spaces may be narrower, and angled parking may be wider. Dimensions for compact cars and trucks differ.

Continue reading to learn more fascinating information about parking spaces and their dimensions. Not all parking spaces are the same, as there are different requirements for trucks, compact cars, and even women's parking.

Marked parking spot in underground garage, How Big Is An Average Parking Space?

Making Room For Parking

As the number of car owners increased, it was only a matter of time before parking spaces with standardized dimensions became part of society. Because so many vehicles are oversized in the US, larger spaces are common.

The construction of established parking spaces and lots emerged in cities within the US in the 1920s. Urban planning commissions took measures to control traffic in New York City, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh with designated parking.

With the construction of parking lots for retail use, malls, industrial parks, and other arenas, the need for variation arose. Specific parking space dimensions for larger cars, trucks, and persons with disabilities had to be standardized.

The average parking space for compact cars may have a length of 10 feet, whereas parking spaces for average to larger vehicles have a length between 16 and 20 feet. Parallel and perpendicular parking spaces are often 10 to 18 feet long.

Parking spaces on wet gray asphalt with puddles

About Parking Space Layout

There are certain factors to consider when designing the layout for a parking space and ensuring proper dimensions. There needs to be enough space between vehicles when parked side by side and for navigating around spaces.

Consider that cars may be parked in spaces with an orientation with a vehicle placed at a 30-degree, 45-degree, 60-degree, or 90-degree angle. Additionally, parking spaces may allow a car to pull in or require parallel parking to fit.

Parking spaces have to accommodate both drivers and pedestrians for navigation and safety. Also, the dimensions and layout of spaces should consider any nearby lighting, ramps, the flow of traffic, and paved or unpaved surfaces.

Keep in mind parking spaces are often arranged in rows in lots or parking garages. There typically should be a distance of 14 to 24 feet between rows. If cars are parked correctly, there should be 1.5 feet of clearance upon opening the doors.

Parking Spaces & Safety

You need standards for parking space dimensions to ensure safe use and reduce unwanted accidents and damage to pedestrians and vehicles. Hazards like shopping carts, blind spots, low lighting, and poor design are problems.

There needs to be enough room in designated parking spaces with signage to enforce their proper use. If drivers make an effort to park correctly and in the right-sized spaces for their vehicles, it increases the effectiveness of parking lots.

Because the thickness of paved or unpaved surfaces for parking varies, there may need to be extra space to accommodate vehicles with a trailer or heavier weight load. Stay alert and follow etiquette when driving and parking.

One of the biggest causes of collisions, injury, or damage to personal property is due to not being aware and failure to adhere to standards. Make an effort to park your vehicle in the right-sized space and to park within the space properly.

Parking Space Dimensions Residential

Parking lot in a residential area

Standard parking spaces typically have a width of 9 feet and a length of 18 feet. However, if a parking space is adjacent to a fence or wall, it needs to be a width of 10 feet. 

Parking spaces for vehicles in an enclosed garage should be 10 feet wide by 20 feet long. Spaces for compact vehicles should have measurements of 8 feet wide and 16 feet in length.

Local laws illustrate the necessary dimensions for residential parking spaces. Laws are agreed upon for safety and organization, so there are proper spaces for those living in nearby property to park their vehicle. 

There may be slight differences in dimensions for spaces for residents in properties with multiple dwellings, for off-site parking, garage parking, or on-street parking. There needs to be enough room to exit and enter cars comfortably.

Parallel Parking Space Dimensions

Parallel parking sign on the streets

Average cars that need to fit into parallel parking spaces are usually 8 feet wide and up to 22 feet to 26 feet long. However, for compact cars, the dimensions for spaces are 7 feet and 20 feet in length. Dimensions can vary.

In comparison, standard parking spaces in an open lot where one can parallel park, dimensions might be 9 feet wide and 19 feet long. For parallel parking, spaces should allow for a gap of 4 feet between cars lined up from one another.

There needs to be sufficient space for parallel parking spaces because drivers need to execute several turns to fit into the space. Plus, proper clearance allows drivers to fit into parking without hitting other cars.

Like other parking spaces, parallel parking needs to make allowances for accessibility and safe navigation. Additionally, considerations for traffic flow and providing enough room to fit a maximum of vehicles are warranted.

How Wide Is A Handicap Parking Space?

The international markings for a handicapped parking stall in a parking lot

To meet the special needs of persons living with disabilities, many parking lots have designated parking spaces. Often vehicles used to transport wheelchairs or accommodate persons with mobility, or other impairments are quite wide.

The dimensions for a handicap space for a car have a minimum width of 216 inches and a length of 108 inches. For a van, handicap parking spaces should be 144 inches wide. Access aisles should measure 60 inches in width.

It is critical to have a variety of different parking spaces with enough room for vehicles to enter and exit safely. Ensuring there is enough room for car doors to open and navigation helps reduce accidents and improve the use of space.

In some cases, it is not illegal to park in a handicapped space unless there is a sign posted with a warning and a fine. However, it is frowned upon to park in handicapped parking because it makes it more difficult for those who need it.

Check out this reserved parking sign on Amazon.

Standard Truck Parking Space Size

Because trucks often come with a trailer, the parking spaces have to have enough berth to accommodate these larger vehicles. Typically, there are designated parking lots for trucks and trailers at locations frequented by these vehicles.

The average space for a truck has a minimum width of 15 feet and a length between 30 to 40 feet. Non-commercial trucks can usually fit in a slightly oversized parking space in lots shared with cars. Care should be taken with clearance.

Most parking for trucks is found at truck stops, gas stations, and other areas with plenty of signage to establish the right to park a truck and trailer. Truck parking is not designed for smaller cars or larger SUVs but commercial vehicles.

Big rigs semi trucks of different makes and models stand in row on truck stop parking lot

Due to the size and nature of trucks and large commercial vehicles, there are strict regulations about parking overnight, leaving a vehicle stopped, or standing. Truck parking spaces may be public or privately owned and backed via law.

Check out this truck and trailer parking sign on Amazon.

Conclusion

We hope you gained a more in-depth understanding of average parking spaces and the reasons behind their dimensions. Depending on whether a parking space is for a residential or commercial space, measurements may vary.

Also, many parking spaces had to increase over time to accommodate vehicles like SUVs or fit more vehicles inside parking lots. It is smart to familiarize yourself with parking space sizes before venturing out in your car.

Before you go, don't forget to read the following related articles.

Read More: How Big Is A Garage? [Including 2-Car And 3-Car Garages]

Read More: How Long And Wide Is A Typical Driveway?