Frequently Asked Questions

Primary reference
“Design Recommendations for Multi-storey and Underground Car Parks”
Institution of Structural Engineers
3rd Edition June 2002.

All answers provided are for general guidance and information only. The IPA recommends that visitors always seek professional assistance on specific matters and site requirements. Where feasible, there are links to other pages on the IPA website.

Compiled by Mr. Liam Keilthy

  1. What are the recommended minimum dimensions for parking spaces in public car parks?
    Usage Width Length
    Short Stay 2.5m 4.8m
    Long Stay 2.3m 4.8m
    Mixed Long/Short 2.4m 4.8m
    Disabled Space 3.6m 4.8m
    Parent & Child 3.6m 4.8m
  2. What are the recommended slopes for straight ramps in public car parks?
    The steepest slope for:

    • vehicle only use = 1:6
    • pedestrian & vehicle use = 1:12
    • disabled persons = 1:12
    • pedestrian only ramps = 1:15 to 1:20

    Ramps steeper than 1:10 require 3m transition zones top and bottom set at not less than 1:12
    More… 

  3. Is there a minimum percentage of total spaces in a public car park that must be reserved for disabled motorists?
    Each local authority sets out its own parking standards in the current Development Plan. Minimum requirements for disabled parking provision are usually included and these tend to be incorporated into planning permissions. In most local authorities the current requirement is for 1% of total spaces to be set aside for disabled motorists.Note: UK standards tend to be higher than Irish standards.
    More… See also…
  4. Is there a minimum recommended lighting level in public car parks?
    Lighting standards vary between a minimum of 75 lux to more than 300 lux. A good guideline is an average of 150 lux and a minimum of 100 lux in a public car park.
  5. Is VAT included in all public car park charges?
    VAT at 21% should be included in all off-street parking charges. On-street parking charges are deemed exempt from VAT.Many public bodies e.g. Councils and hospitals operating pay parking do not charge VAT on the parking fee.
  6. Is a motorist bound by the terms and conditions posted at the car park entrance?
    In barrier controlled car parks once the motorist pulls a ticket they are deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions posted at the entrance.Council car parks tend to be governed by local Parking Bye Laws and information to this effect is normally displayed in the car park.
  7. Why are parking charges not calculated precisely e.g. to the minute based on the actual time spent in the car park?
    In manned car park systems hourly charges make fee calculation and change making easier. In sophisticated systems making change is a complex issue and keeping tariffs simple improves overall efficiency.