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Smart Car parking
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# 1
Rockporkchop
Old 24-09-2009, 11:16 AM
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Default Smart Car parking

Does anyone know if it is legal to park Smart cars sideways, i.e. back-in parking in otherwise parallel parking zones? Do any of you park like this?

I have just bought a Smart car for commuting and used to see many other Smarts parked in this way but lately haven't see any. Is this because it is no longer legal to park this way or is it just because of the problems this causes, such as people parking so close you can't actually open the door to get into the car.

I have done some searching but can't find much information, not even on the Smart website, and even Smart themselves wouldn't give me a definite answer.

Many thanks in advance.
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# 2
oldagetraveller
Old 24-09-2009, 11:51 AM
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I thought you just tucked them under your arm and carried them around with you?!
The Conservative Party is a bit like double cream. Rich, thick and full of clots!
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# 3
Altarf
Old 24-09-2009, 12:13 PM
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Commonly seen them parked like it in Europe, but hardly ever in the UK.

Firstly even though they are short, they are not that short (2.5 m) even a wide car like a Mondeo is only 2 m wide, so a fair bit sticks out into the traffic.

Secondly, if there are parking bays, you are not allowed to park two smarts next to each other in one bay (and you would be lucky to find someone who also wanted to park their smart there).

Finally, if parking is so tight that you want to park end in, then you will get the cars either side parking bumper up your door.
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# 4
almillar
Old 24-09-2009, 12:46 PM
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Can't see why it would be illegal, and I haven't heard anything recently about it becoming illegal. I'd say most drivers just aren't in the habit of doing it.
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# 5
Altarf
Old 24-09-2009, 1:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almillar View Post
Can't see why it would be illegal
Because if you do this in a narrow street, that two cars would otherwise be able to pass, but now can't because of the extra 1/2 metre of Smart car jutting out, you are causing an obstruction.

Also if the parking bay is white lined where the driver/passenger door is, the car needs to be inside it. The minimum width a council is allowed to set is 1.8m, so...

Last edited by Altarf; 24-09-2009 at 1:07 PM.
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# 6
vikingaero
Old 24-09-2009, 1:03 PM
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I would argue that on parking bays it is illegal because the wheels of the Smart overhang the bay by quite a margin. And the rear of the car would also have to overhang the pavement.
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# 7
almillar
Old 25-09-2009, 1:15 PM
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Yes, blocking a street is illegal of course in any car, but the OP asked specifically about a sideways Smart.
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# 8
Altarf
Old 25-09-2009, 4:17 PM
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Which since Smarts are about 1/2 meter longer than a normal car is wide, may block the street if you park it sideways.
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# 9
almillar
Old 25-09-2009, 4:33 PM
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Or a really big wide car, or a lorry or van. My point being don't block the road, but there's nothing specific about a sideways Smart
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# 10
Altarf
Old 25-09-2009, 4:44 PM
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OK there is nothing specific about Smart cars parking sideways, just as there is nothing specific about Smart cars parking in the middle of the M1.

I was trying (helpfully I thought) to point out that there are many circumstances when if you did it, it would cause you a problem (legally or practically). And to be honest when it is not likely to cause you a problem, I doubt you would have a need, unless you wanted to show off.
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# 11
Rockporkchop
Old 30-09-2009, 3:02 PM
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Many thanks for your replies.

The photo found by Altarf is exactly what I meant, there is a small space always available just outside the station and I was hoping it had my name on it! The car in the photo does stick out wider than the other cars but I was wondering if it could be classed as causing an obstruction as it is still within the blue lines.

Knowing my luck I bet I would get a ticket if I tried it.
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# 12
flyingscotno1
Old 30-09-2009, 3:15 PM
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When the Smart initially came out in LHD, a few magazines stated that it wasn't permitted to leave them parked side on unless the bays were marked like that- you had to park parallel to the kerb due to lighting and reflector restrictions. I don't know how much you trust car magazine journos getting it right however!
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# 13
immoral_angeluk
Old 30-09-2009, 5:22 PM
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Parking in a small gap like that would surely make it harder for the other drivers to get out of their proper spaces?
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# 14
GabbaGabbaHey
Old 30-09-2009, 8:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockporkchop View Post
there is a small space always available just outside the station and I was hoping it had my name on it!
At Winchester train station, there are 2 or three small parking spaces which are reserved for Smart cars. They even have little drawings of Smart cars beside them.

Why not have a word with whichever council is responsible for enforcing parking regulations outside your station and get their advice?
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# 15
csh
Old 30-09-2009, 9:55 PM
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Hi, I used to own a Smart and did get quite creative with parking! However I understood it that you cannot park a Smart front end on, on street parking (like in the picture) as it causes a hazard trying to reverse out into traffic with zero visibilty.
Also if you park it a*se to the pavement, any Traffic warden, police ect cannot read the tax disc from the pavement and would have to stand in traffic in order to check disc and this was illegal.
LOL have absolutly no idea if this is true or not, but didn't ever risk it!
E. Central Scotland 2kWp system south facing.
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# 16
DaveF327
Old 30-09-2009, 10:33 PM
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There is no legal requirement to park in any particular orientation providing you are parked wholly within a marked bay and at least some part of the car is within 50cm of the kerb edge (in a special enforcement area). The question of overhang is purely down to your assessment of the risk; would you be happy to accept that a passing driver with questionable spatial awareness may clip the projecting part of your car even if it's within any markings?

However, if you are not parked within a designated (i.e. marked or set aside from the carriageway) parking space, you must beware of the regulations regarding being parked at night. You must display parking lights* and reflectors, so parking sideways would mean these are not displayed. You must not park against the direction of the traffic flow, so it's open to interpretation whether sideways is truly "against". Only a court can decide this.

*except in prescribed circumstances irrelevant to this thread

Last edited by DaveF327; 30-09-2009 at 10:37 PM.
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