When I enter my neighbourhood I am always shocked at the number of vehicles my neighbours park outside on the driveway instead of in the relative warmth and comfort of their garage. Every house in my neighbourhood has an attached garage with room for at least two cars. This isn’t just a simple choice to make, either, as in northern Nevada the summer sun bakes paint and cracks dashboards, while the extreme cold winter nights require a frigid morning window scraping routine.
Of course, some of these folks are parking outside because they hoard junk and are forced to store everything in the vehicle house, which is a totally different conversation. Today we’re going to focus on those Americans who choose to buy vehicles that are too large for their garages. It’s an epidemic and it needs to stop!
My next door neighbour has a big diesel Chevrolet dually that he parks outside next to his wife’s Tahoe. Fitting both in the garage would be a nightmare in stock guise, but to make matters worse both of these have been lifted too tall to even fit under the garage door. It’s not hard, these days, as manufacturers have made garage parking a god damn nightmare by building vehicles which get larger with each subsequent generation.
The average suburban two-car garage is five metres wide and six metres deep. And that’s not enough for these behemoth buying (and building) monsters. The freshly redesigned Chevrolet Suburban is just 5 centimetres shy of six metres. And while it’s still a pie-in-the-sky Tesla fantasy, the Cybertruck is a massive 15 centimetres longer than the Suburban!
This would be little more than a minor annoyance if it only affected owners of massive vehicles, but the rest of us have to live on the same roads you do. And more importantly, in the same parking lots. Parking spots at WalMart aren’t big enough for your new long-bed Ram, so you’re forced to take up multiple spots or wedge into one that just plain doesn’t accommodate you.
Some parking lots and apps are starting to charge oversized fees for crossovers and super oversized fees for bigger vehicles in large cities like New York. SpotHero, an app you can use to pay for your parking space, recently stated that about 11% of its customers are paying these oversized fees.
An automotive analyst at firm IHS Markit, Stephanie Brinley, told USA Today, “We never quite know where the end is going to be. People buy what they want to use. Whatever their personal reasons are, however it fits in their life, they’ve decided it’s worth it to them. That’s not critical, it’s just a fact.”
She may not want to be critical, but I’m sure has hell going to be.
We get it. You big truck folks love to inconvenience yourselves to ostensibly look cool or whatever. If it was just the hundreds of extra dollars in fuel, or the extra hours of time scraping your parked-outside truck this wouldn’t be such a big deal. But the extra damage you’re continually doing to our shared environment, the extra space you take up in traffic and in parking lots, and the extra tax on our shared infrastructure are selfish and disgusting.
It’s time you stopped inconveniencing yourselves, and all of the rest of us, with your vehicle choices.