This week, Parisians voted in favor of tripling the parking rate for larger and heavier vehicles like SUVs. The price of an hour of parking in the city will rise in September to 12-18 euros depending on the location. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, welcomed the decision as “a form of resistance from Paris in the face of this very worrying movement”. While the mayor was alluding to environmental concerns, cars that are getting bigger and heavier are also a nuisance in crowded cities in a more practical sense: They simply take up more space and are now - at least in Paris - made to pay for it.
While time will tell if the idea catches on in more places, data collected by Statista Consumer Insights shows that parking woes are actually much worse in several European countries than in France. While 19 percent of all French people and 27 percent of those living in larger cities of 100,000 inhabitants or more said there were not enough parking spaces in their neighborhood, there were 34 percent and 40 percent saying the same in Spain. In Poland, these figures were even higher at 35 percent and 44 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, parking proved more nerve-wracking in Australia than in France overall, while French cities still proved tricker. U.S. drivers seem to have fewer problems despite many SUVs and other large cars on the road - only 16 percent overall and 19 percent in larger cities complained. This was only undercut by another country built for cars, Saudi Arabia, when the survey was carried out there last between 2022 and 2023.