Parking height maximum clearance – average heights in Europe and US
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Having more headroom in your everyday camper is important. But we also need to take into account what you will use the vehicle for most of the time. If it is your everyday car that is sometimes used for camping – you will likely want to drive it to any supermarket or underground car park. The first sometimes and the latter always come with a maximum height restriction. This post explores the typical height restriction for European and American parking height barriers.
If you have landed on nimblecamper.com, it’s probably because you are looking for information about how to sleep in everyday cars. Cars, that we use for our daily chores, shopping, going to work and visiting other cities and countries for pleasure. That involves parking in supermarket car parks, underground car parks.
Most everyday cars will fit under any barrier of course. The barriers are meant to keep bigger cars, vans, caravans and RVs out. But what about everyday car campers? You might install a roof tent, a roof box or lift your roof for more headroom. Or you will get a high-roof version of the car (like a Fiat Doblo High Roof). To save yourself a lot of hassle with insurance and car repairs, it’s good to know your exact vehicle height, including any accessories and extensions. And perhaps even before you buy or convert such a vehicle, it’s good to know what height is usually allowed across most of the car parks.
The average height of an MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) in Europe is around 1.7 to 1.9 meters (5.6 to 6.2 feet). An MPV is the most likely car you will convert for camping thanks to its spacious boot. This is a general estimation and can vary based on the model and make of the MPV. Keep in mind that parking facilities may have different clearance heights, so it’s always best to check the specifications of the MPV and the parking facility before entering.
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- Fiat Doblò camper XL, High Roof 🇪🇺 4.0/5
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- Caddy Maxi Camper (Life) 🇪🇺 3.8/5
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A good way to check for parking height restrictions (and prices, opening times, EV charging options) in the EU or the US (or try other parts of the world too!)
Typical parking maximum height in Europe
- Germany – 2m – 2.1m parking maximum height in city parking (multi-level car parks, underground or overground)(1)
- Spain – 1.5m – 2.6m – usually around 2m, but there’s some with a height restriction of 1.50m in Barcelona!
- Italy – 2m – 4m – usually somewhere around 2.4m
- France – 1.8m and up, usually around 2m
- Croatia – 1.8m and up, usually around 2m
There are always options for taller cars, but the most convenient (city center) ones tend to have lower maximum height restriction. If you car is anything above 2m (like the Fiat Doblo High Roof), your options are going to be fewer. Luckily, most MPVs are under 2m in total vehicle height, so you should be fine, including the roof bars – unless you put a roof box or a roof tent on top.
Typical parking maximum height in the United States
The typical minimum height requirement for overhead clearance in parking spaces and accessible spaces in the United States is 7 feet / 2.1m.(1, 2)
But you will find car parks with lower maximum height allowance on parkopedia.com – make sure you check before arriving.
Another thing to be aware of are the curves – moving between parking levels
Most multi-level car parks, be it underground or overground, tend to have quite narrow lanes to drive in and out, and between levels, especially when it comes to the curves when changing levels. The longer your camper is, the harder it will be to navigate these. Most everyday cars shouldn’t have a problem, but if you have a Hyundai Staria or a Caddy Maxi, it might get very tight!
The key point here is that you can always find a parking spot with a higher or no height restriction, but it might not be as convenient as the other ones. The higher your car, the less options you will have.