Are our cars too fat for British roads?

Are fat cars clogging up our streets, towns and cities?

Are fat cars clogging up our streets, towns and cities? - Credit: Archant

With the average car on British roads getting bigger do our cars need to go on a diet?

Mark Bower-Dyke, chairman of Be Wiser Insurance, said: “Over the past few years the size of the average car has increased greatly, mainly to provide better seating accommodation and better safety measures. While this is almost entirely a good thing, the problem arises when many of these cars are driven in cities with only one occupant. These cars are taking up more space than they used to and are often unable to park in a standard-sized car park spaces, adding to the congestion problems we’re all well aware of.”

Certain manufacturers have introduced the concept of ‘micro-cars’ for city centres in a bid to avoid the punitive taxes which apply to any car owner who wants to drive a standard or larger-sized car.

Changing the way the congestion charge works – from a green tax to one directly trying to cut congestion – could see happier, healthier city streets.

He said: “We need to consider what a ‘healthy BMI’ is for cars. Something that is appropriate for our current road and city infrastructure would mean we avoid the ripple effect of a car slightly too big for our roads causing minor inconveniences which turn into larger traffic flow issues.”

Currently the congestion charge only exempts vehicles with very good green credentials – less than 75g/km of CO2 – and those carrying larger numbers of passengers.

“Though the congestion charge has seemingly noble aims, perhaps there is a case to be made for the size of the car to be taken into consideration rather than just the emissions.

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“This isn’t about attacking drivers of larger cars, but more about creating more space on our roads and thus making them as stress-free as possible.