Brits Drive Over 2,000 Miles In Their Lifetime Looking For A Parking Space

New research has found that Brits drive 2,127 miles over the course of their lives, simply looking for a parking space.

We also spend over two weeks (17 days), cruising in our cars, in hope of finding the perfect spot.  

Parking is clearly a pain, as four in ten (39 per cent) have named it one of the most aggravating aspects of driving, along with potholes (64 per cent), speed bumps (35 per cent), and slow drivers (35 per cent).

The research by Privilege Motor Insurance also found that the UK’s top parking related peeve is people parking across two bays, causing frustration for an overwhelming two thirds (68 per cent) of drivers.

Other parking pangs include; drivers stopping in disabled or family bays when not appropriate (58 per cent), taking up too much space and not leaving enough room in front or behind for another car (56 per cent), other drivers pulling-up in front of your house or driveway (48 per cent) and stopping in an illegal location, like a double yellow line (41 per cent).

Parking related quarrels are also commonplace with two in five (37 per cent) drivers having had an argument with another road user.  

We average 10 parking related spats each year, with partners named the biggest antagonists in the car (24 per cent), closely followed by strangers (21 per cent) and neighbours (15 per cent).

As for gender divides, a quarter of men (25 per cent) have argued with strangers over parking compared to just 16 per cent of women, suggesting they have less patience when looking for a space.

When it comes to the distance we’re willing to park from our destination, over half (52 per cent) are happy to settle for a space furthest away, whilst those wanting to be nearby will wait an average of nearly two minutes (107 seconds).

The dreaded parallel park remains unpopular as over a third of us (37 per cent) would prefer to drive further away from our destination to avoid reversing into position.

This is particularly the case amongst women, with 41 per cent avoiding spaces where a parallel park is needed compared to 33 per cent of men. 

Furthermore, there has also been almost six parking accidents for every 10 drivers on the road (57 per cent).

These knocks and avoidance of parallel manoeuvres could explain why nearly a quarter of all British drivers (24 per cent) believe they are bad at parking, which could justify their eagerness to find the perfect space.

Charlotte Fielding, Head of Privilege Motor Insurance, said: “With more cars on the roads than ever, it’s interesting to see how much time we can spend and the distance we are prepared to travel looking for a parking space.

“The research gives us insight into what irritates us about parking. Whilst we all know it can be a stressful situation at times, it’s well worth allowing an extra five minutes to find a parking space and keeping a calm state of mind to avoid any unnecessary accidents.”

Top parking peeves:

1.    Parking across two bays

2.    People parking in disabled or family bays when not applicable

3.    People taking up too much space and not leaving enough space for another car in front, behind or to the side

4.    People parking in front of your house or driveway

5.    People parking in an illegal location

Top driving frustrations:

1.    Potholes

2.    Parking

3.    Speed bumps

4.    Drivers who are too slow

5.    Drivers hogging the middle lane

6.    Traffic

7.    Cyclists

8.    People causing excessive traffic by driving their children to school

9.    Drivers who hog the last lane

10.  Speed cameras


For more information, please contact: Georgie Bruer at Richmond & Towers:

[email protected] / 020 3179 0720

Notes to editors:

Research carried out amongst a nationally representative sample of 2,001 UK adults by Opinium Research from 24th January to 27th January 2020.


Privilege Insurance specialises in car insurance for safe drivers. It also offers home insurance and breakdown cover by phone or on-line.

Privilege general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Privilege and UK Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.  

Customers can find out more about Privilege’s products or get a quote by calling

0345 246 0515 or visiting