Parent and child parking spaces in supermarkets: When should you stop using them?

The major supermarkets reveal how old is too old, and how they clamp down on those who misuse the spaces…

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It’s a bit of hot debate at the moment – when is your child too old to warrant using a parent and child parking space at the supermarket?

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We can understand why, too!

We know how frustrating it can be when the bays closest to the shop entrance are all taken up, especially when you’ve got babies, buggies, toddlers, trollies AND shopping bags to contend with.

Phew. Even writing that out made us feel exhausted ?

But it’s been pointed out that there are no clear age guidelines stating when your child stops being a ‘child’ when it comes to using those bays.

Does it differ for each supermarket? And what will the supermarket do if it judges that your child is too old for these spaces?

Wales Online wanted to find out the answer, so they did some digging and spoke to Asda, Tesco, Aldi and Sainsbury’s about their respective policies.

Here’s what they said:

Tesco

“We want to make it as easy as possible for all our customers to shop with us, including people with young children, so we offer designated wider spaces within a convenient distance to our stores’ entrances.”

The spokesperson also said that it was primarily designed for use by parents with babies, toddlers or primary school age children.

ASDA

ASDA’s spokesperson was pretty clear in a statement: “We allow parents with children up to 12 years old travelling in a child/booster seat to park in these specific spaces, and have dedicated attendants who monitor the car park.”

“Safety of children is paramount so our child and parent parking spaces are situated close to the store with a safety walkway around the edge to help parents keep their children safe while loading their car with shopping or pushchairs.”

It also says 6% of its car parks are dedicated to the parent and child parking spaces.

Sainsbury’s

The guidelines, said a Sainsbury’s representative, is that 12-years-old is the cut-off point.

“Our parking attendants patrol the parent/child spaces to make sure they are being used only by customers with children.

“If our attendants find any customers misusing these spaces, they will in the first instance ask them to move, and if they refuse, they will be issued with a Parking Charge Notice.”

Aldi

“We offer parent and child car parking spaces at all of our standard stores across the UK.

These spaces are positioned in a convenient location to allow customers with children easy access to the store,” a spokesperson for Aldi said.

“Although we don’t enforce strict regulations, the parent and child car parking spaces are honoured and appreciated by the large majority of our customers.”

Morrisons

We reached out to Morrisons and their spokesperson told us:  

“Our customers tend to be responsible when parking their cars and make sure that spaces designated for parents with young children are kept clear. Our car park assistants regularly check theses space and, on the occasions when customers make a mistake, will guide drivers to an alternative space.”

What about the other supermarkets?

Waitrose and Lidl did not offer comment for the original piece by Wales Online, but we’ve contacted them to see what they have to say. We will update this story when we hear back.

The verdict

It appears that 12 is generally considered the cut off age, and that parents with younger children take priority.

That said, everybody’s individual circumstances are different, and these are just the guidelines provided by the supermarkets.

Have your say

What do you think about all this – do you use those spaces, and does it annoy you if parents with older children use them, too?

Or are you the mum of a 12-year-old who needs access to the space?

Let us know on Facebook

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