Guide to Standard Parking Dimensions (with 4 Drawings)

Parking Dimensions

An average car has a size of about six feet; however, there are larger cars on the streets. For this reason, parking dimensions can be complex. In fact, you need to consider various factors when building parking spaces. Still, there are standard dimensions that will help you construct the perfect parking area. So, here are the important details you need to know about parking space dimensions.

Parking Space Dimensions

Standard Parking

Standard Parking Dimensions in the US

An average parking space in the US has a size of about 7.5 to 9 feet (width) and 10 to 20 feet (length).

Keep in mind that the standard parking size should be followed because it can help people drive in and out of the space safely. An oversized parking space will not only reduce the available parking spaces. It can also increase the risk of accidents.

Truck and Trailer Parking

Truck and Trailer Parking

Trailers and trucks are bigger compared to average-sized cars. For this reason, their parking space is different than the standard dimensions. To be specific, the parking size for these types of vehicles should at least be about 15 feet (width) and 30 to 40 feet (length).

Handicapped and Accessible Parking

Handicapped and Accessible Parking

Based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the dimensions of an accessible parking space should at least be eight feet wide for standard vehicles. Van-accessible spaces, on the other hand, must at least be 11 feet wide. Additionally, there should also be an accessible aisle, which is at least five feet wide.

Parking Patterns

Parking Patterns

Aside from the size, you should also consider the different parking patterns. By knowing this, you’ll be able to design the best layout of your parking area. The following are the most common parking patterns:

Parallel

Parallel parking is a common mode of parking on the streets, but it can also be used in parking lots and other structures. In this type of parking pattern, the vehicles are arranged in a line, with one car facing the back bumper of an adjacent car.

Perpendicular

In perpendicular parking, the vehicles are parked beside each other, and they are perpendicular to a wall, an aisle, or a curb. Because this type of parking pattern can fit more cars, it is usually used in a parking lot and other parking structures.

Angle

Angle parking is almost the same as perpendicular parking. The only difference is that the vehicles are arranged at an angle. This parking pattern allows quicker and easier parking. Aside from that, it also creates more parking spaces. As such, it is also used in parking structures or lots.

Other Factors to Consider

One-Way or Two-Way?

Typically, if the parking lot’s aisles are two-way, they would need wider dimensions so that vehicles can navigate safely in opposite directions. For this reason, the two-way aisle should at least be 20 feet wide. On the other hand, if the aisles are one-way, they can be a bit narrower. Still, they would require wide dimensions, depending on other factors.

Angle

Another important factor to consider is the angle between the parking space and the curb. This factor will determine how wide the aisles between the rows should be. Typically, the majority of parking spaces are positioned at a 30°, 45°, 60°, or 90° angle. Remember, if the angle is higher, the aisle should be wider. That way, vehicles can enter and exit the spot safely and with ease. Therefore, one-way aisles with parking spaces positioned at a 90° angle will have the same width as a two-way aisle.

Entry and Exit Spacing

Always remember that proper spacing of entrances and exits is vital to prevent back-ups of traffic that are attempting to enter the parking lot.  If the correct spacing is not applied, it can lead to clogged intersections, unsafe maneuvers, and rear-end accidents.

Keep in mind that the safe distances will vary depending on the traffic volume of the parking lot’s driveway and the street adjacent to it. Another factor that will affect the safe distances is if your parking lot needs right-turn lanes. Depending on these factors, driveways are usually spaced between 300 to 600 feet away from the intersections.

Handicapped Accessibility

All parking lots must comply with the government regulations regarding handicap-accessible spaces. As mentioned, parking spaces for the handicapped or disabled should at least be eight feet wide for standard vehicles. Van-accessible spaces, on the other hand, should be at least 11 feet wide. These dimensions will provide space for wheelchairs and other types of equipment.

Asphalt or Concrete?

Asphalt or Concrete?

A parking lot flooring can either be made with asphalt or concrete. Each material can offer several benefits. To be specific, asphalt is preferred if you live in an area with a cold climate because it can withstand low temperatures and allow easy snow removal. Additionally, asphalt is also a good choice if you are on a tight budget because it is cost-effective. Plus, it is also easy to maintain.

On the other hand, concrete is an excellent choice if you live in an area with a warm climate. However, it is a bit expensive compare to its counterpart.

How Wide is a Parking Space?

Even though a parking space has a standard dimension, this size is often not followed. The reason is that there are several factors that would influence the size of a parking space. For instance, an 8.5-feet width is common in a lot of parking lots because it can accommodate wide vehicles. Still, there are some parking spaces that are 10 to 20 feet wide because they are angled. This width is also ideal for special parking situations, like handicap-accessible spaces.

All in all, the size or width of a parking space will vary, depending on various factors. As such, there is no specific size for a parking space. However, if you have an average-sized vehicle, the standard dimension of 7.5 to 9 feet (width) and 10 to 20 feet (length) is enough to accommodate your car. Larger vehicles, like trucks and trailers, will need more space. Additionally, if the parking space is angled, it would also require more space.