Parent and child parking spaces

(371 Posts)
WeightyMama Sat 08-May-21 15:06:36

I’m aware I might get thrashed for this but here goes.

At what age child do you think you should stop using parent and child spaces? I went to the supermarket yesterday and there were no spaces left. I had to park quite far away with my baby so that I had somewhere with enough space to get everything sorted. On my way back to the spaces I noticed a woman getting back in the car with one child of about 12/23 years old. Child opened the back door, got in (no car seat), no issues.

AIBU to say that at that stage you should park in a normal spot and let others have the parking? I would understand if the child was heavy handed and might bash the door into a neighbouring car or something, but this child was far from that.

OP’s posts: |
ghostyslovesheets Sat 08-May-21 15:09:46

a parent with a child - they can park there

DynamoKev Sat 08-May-21 15:10:06

Yeah, you are right, 23 is too old to count as a child for P&C spaces.

Bourbonic Sat 08-May-21 15:10:29

As you asked what I think, I think they should be done away with completely or if used should be put far from the door with a walkway to it.

As you've specifically mentioned how far away the space was, why is walking a little further such a big deal? You have a baby so it isn't like the traffic is a danger.

MooseBreath Sat 08-May-21 15:10:48

If the child can get out of the car on their own, there's no need for the space. The door doesn't need to open as wide.

That said, we don't know if the child who I assume was not 23 wink had any disabilities, which would prompt the parent to park closer or in a bigger space.

HumunaHey Sat 08-May-21 15:11:54

Well I'm sure signs say children up to 12 years, in which case she is most likely abiding by the rules. I personally think parent child spaces should really be for babies/toddlers. It's the extra space that's needed with getting kids in and out of car seats. I'm sure neighbouring cars don't want their doors bashed!

Biker47 Sat 08-May-21 15:12:28

I'm assuming that's meant to be 12/13, not 23.

Either way, the spaces are just marketing gimmicks set up by the supermarkets anyways.


Rosebel Sat 08-May-21 15:12:34

A lot of supermarket do have an age restriction but obviously it's not enforced. I suppose technically they can use it but it's a bit mean. They are supposed to be used if you have young children that you struggle to get in and out of the car.
I use a parent and child space if I have my youngest with me (10 months) but not my eldest two (teenagers).
I think they were about 5 when I stopped.

WeightyMama Sat 08-May-21 15:13:08


a parent with a child - they can park there

So what is the cut off point? 15? 16? 17?

OP’s posts: |
WeightyMama Sat 08-May-21 15:14:34

@Bourbonic I have to put my baby in the car seat in the trolley. Baby and car seat are really very heavy and I have a bad back, so having it closer would be a big help for me.

OP’s posts: |
ghostyslovesheets Sat 08-May-21 15:16:54

your needs don't trump other peoples though - sorry

WeightyMama Sat 08-May-21 15:17:44

@ghostyslovesheets you aren’t answering the question?

OP’s posts: |
HumunaHey Sat 08-May-21 15:18:49


I'm assuming that's meant to be 12/13, not 23.

Either way, the spaces are just marketing gimmicks set up by the supermarkets anyways.

Something that's useful isn't really a gimmick is it.

PascalHey Sat 08-May-21 15:19:58

I think I need the space more now than I did when mine were babies/toddlers (mine are only 4&6 now). As a little baby I would take them out of the car seat and place them in the baby chair. As older babies/toddlers I would take them out and put them in the child seat in the trolley. Now they're at an age where they can reach the handles so are more likely to swing it open into a car parked next to us in a normal space. Hmmm.

Anyway to answer your question, yes I think 12 is too old. Maybe 9 would be my limit for a NT child with no physical disabilities.

Roundtoedshoes Sat 08-May-21 15:20:32

I think when there are no car seats/they are able to safely exit themselves without assistance/understanding not to fling the door wide open. Not sure what age that is though - guess all kids are different.

I would give up looking at who uses these spots and just be happy if you get them when available. It will just make you annoyed. Plenty of people without kids at all use them. Or go one better and avoid taking kids to the shops if you can (runs and hides from people that have various reasons for not being able to do that, so disclaimer: IF you are able to shop alone, do so).

Travert Sat 08-May-21 15:20:43

My view is that they’re for people who need the extra space to get a child in and out of the car. So at whatever age you no longer need that additional space. However, that’s just my opinion, the person you describe was probably technically within the rules.

PascalHey Sat 08-May-21 15:20:51


*@Bourbonic* I have to put my baby in the car seat in the trolley. Baby and car seat are really very heavy and I have a bad back, so having it closer would be a big help for me.

Why do you have to? Does the supermarket you go to not have the baby seats?

AnUnoriginalUsername Sat 08-May-21 15:21:00

I'm pretty sure it's 8 at our local supermarket.

Lnix Sat 08-May-21 15:21:11

I think parent and child spaces are more for the extra room when opening the doors rather than proximity to the shop. At my local tesco they aren't close to the entrance at all.

user648482729 Sat 08-May-21 15:21:15

I think I’ve seen on the signs in some places that it’s 12 although I’d stop before then personally as for me it’s more about having the space to be able to get car seats in and out or put a child in to strap them in. Once they can do that I wouldn’t use them any more primarily because I’ve had the experience of carrying a heavy car seat across supermarkets amd physcially struggling to get my child in and out so i wouldn’t want to take them from someone who needs them

ArnoldJudasRimmer Sat 08-May-21 15:21:56

I've also seen signs saying up to 12. I wouldn't confront anyone potentially misusing them, but I can't help but feel a bit put out when adults with older children all hop out the car and into the shop, and I'm trying to get a newborn and young toddler out the car and across the car park safely because they've taken up the P&C spaces.

Sleepyquest Sat 08-May-21 15:22:05

I never realised how inconsiderate it was for people to use these who didn't need to. The only people who should be using these are parents/ carers with small children and babies in car seats or pregnant women who need extra room to get and out of the car. It isn't about being close to the store, it's about having enough room to get all your equipment in and out of the car. If someone parks next to me and I can't open the door fully and it's just me and my baby, I am a bit screwed!

ghostyslovesheets Sat 08-May-21 15:22:13

I don't know when the cut off point is - I'm not the owner of a supermarket car park - but I stopped getting wound up about spaces when my eldest was about 6 months old - never really used them after that - they aren't essential - you don;t know what issues the family with the '12' year old had do you?

hedgehogger1 Sat 08-May-21 15:22:26

I think the cut off point should be the age where they can do their own seatbelts. (So I no longer need to open the door wide enough to lean my fat ass across)

JocastaNu Sat 08-May-21 15:22:37

OP. This is Mumsnet. Anyone who thinks that P&C spaces should only be used by parents with children in car seats gets heavily criticised on here for not taking into account that the user may have some hidden disability etc.

It's never the case on Mumsnet that some people are just selfish feckers who use the spaces because they are too lazy to walk the extra distance.

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