Van drivers spend 7 billion hours a year looking for parking

Ethan Jupp
Van drivers facing parking crisis

The UK’s van drivers are facing a parking plight, according to new research. It’s calculated that the UK’s 3.3 million van drivers spend a massive 7 billion hours a year looking for parking spaces. Cross that with the average hourly rate of pay for a driver, and you get a cost to the economy of £76.2 billion. 

Over 45 percent of van drivers said they needed over five minutes to find a parking spot for their deliveries. Sixteen percent said they needed over 20 minutes.

The largest portion of respondents to the Vanarama survey (22 percent) actually said finding parking was a one to two-minute job. Worryingly, it’s this that the overall time and money figures are based on.

Van drivers facing parking crisis

If the average driver is delivering 50 packages a day, with each delivery taking around two minutes, then that’s an hour and 40 minutes per day spent looking for a place to park. Cross that with the 3.254 million people that use a van for their job in the UK, and you get that enormous 6.99 billion hours per-year waste figure, and the £76.2 billion loss to the economy.

Scary, given that it all comes from one to two minutes of fishing for parking per delivery.

Van drivers facing fines

Van drivers facing parking crisis

Van drivers don’t have a lot to work with either, it’s claimed. Vanorama took a closer look at the dimensions of the most popular vans sold in the UK. They found that they do not gel with the average UK parking space. 

The average UK parking space is 4.8 metres long. The van that sticks out the least in the top six is the UK’s fifth most-popular, the Vauxhall Vivaro, at 4.892 metres long. Bad luck if you’re in a regular-sized Ford Transit, the second most-popular van in the UK, you’ll be working with 5.531 metres of length. None of the six actually fit in the average UK parking space.

If you’re in L4 variants of the Ford Transit or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, it’s even worse. They exceed the length of the average UK parking space, by between 1.9 and 2.6 metres.

Van drivers facing parking crisis

Why is this a problem? Because van drivers catch a lot of grief for their over-sized vehicles and the space they take up, when there’s nothing they can do about it. Nevermind the vocal criticism they get, van drivers could face fines of £50 for protruding from parking spaces.

Too small, and not enough of them

The UK high street is “failing” our van drives, according to Vanarama. In the analysis of Birmingham, Manchester, London and Newcastle Upon Tyne high streets, Vanorama found that less than one percent of the total area was taken up by parking. All because of how crowded and unsuitable parking is for vans in these locations.

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