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Old 09-14-2005, 07:04 PM
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"Small Car Only". What's considered a small car these days?

You know how in a parking lot, some of the spaces are usually marked "Small Car Only". What qualifies as a small car? SUVs, apparently, judging by some that I see parked in the garage at work. But seriously. Are the midsize sedans such as Altimas, Civics, and their like considered to be small cars for this purpose?

And along similar lines, is a 'subcompact' a car that's even smaller than you're average hatchback, or is it a not-quite-compact (i.e. slightly bigger) car?
Old 09-14-2005, 07:09 PM
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Most garages and lots that I've seen that designation don't seem to care, as long as the vehicle fits within the parking space.
Old 09-14-2005, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
Are the midsize sedans such as Altimas, Civics, and their like considered to be small cars for this purpose?
Yes... but that's because those are both classified by the EPA as compact cars. Midsize is (for example) an Accord. Looks like the car rental people have gotten you to think their way. Bummer. The Hertz at the airport here insists that a Focus (a Focus fortheloveofgod!) is a full size car!
Old 09-19-2005, 02:50 PM
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The Almita's not midsize? I would think the compact would be the Sentra.
Old 09-19-2005, 03:11 PM
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Basically, if I can sit upright in the driver's seat and my knees don't touch the steering wheel and my head doesn't hit the ceiling, then it's a fullsize car. *grrrr*

I exaggerate, but not by much. I don't consider my 6'4" frame to be gigantic, but it's absolutely amazing how many "midsize" cars I can't fit into, and I can't remember the last time I fit in a "compact."
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Old 09-19-2005, 04:01 PM
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Not a scientific answer, but . . . if you can fit in the parking space and still have enough room for people on both sides of the car to open their doors and get out, then you qualify.
Old 09-19-2005, 05:02 PM
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The rule of thumb I use is, if by parking in the space I can assume the next guy driving past will tear off my bumper, my car does not qualify.
Old 09-19-2005, 05:23 PM
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Well, if you drive a Ford Dominator 96 cylinder SUV, you can park there, because who gives a shit, hahahaha!

At least that's what the protocol appears to be.
Old 09-19-2005, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 10,537
For spots marked "compact only" I would assume:

Toyota: Echo, Prius, Matrix, Corolla

Honda: Civic, S2000

Mazda: 3, Miata

Ford: Focus

VW: Beetle, Jetta

Cars that are too big: Accord, Taurus, Camry, Ultima, Maxima

And as for the "If I fit my SUV between the lines I'm okay" mentality you are wrong. It's more like if you can fit between the lines "with your doors open enough to get out" your okay.
Old 09-19-2005, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Greater Fort Worth
Posts: 1,116
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
Are the midsize sedans such as Altimas, Civics, and their like considered to be small cars for this purpose?
My tiny little Civic is a mid-size? Good God, you're right, what is a compact car these days if not a Civic?

Originally Posted by Balthisar
those are both classified by the EPA as compact cars
Oh, okay.
Old 09-19-2005, 10:21 PM
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 26,722
Often, the 'small car only' spaces will actually have a line drawn around the whole space, or at least a rear line drawn across the back of the space. If your bumper doesn't overhang this, you're good.

Sometimes 'small car only' spots are designated for visibility reasons, and not for space. Spots right on the corner of a parkade, for example. In which case I won't park my Ford Escape there, even though it is shorter than many smaller cars. It sits call, and would obstruct the view of other cars coming around the corner. But if the space is just short, and my Escape fits in there, then it's good as far as I'm concerned.

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