Supermarket ‘parent and child’ parking: Do YOU know the rules?

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  • How regularly do you drive around supermarket car parks looking for a space? If you’re anything like us you just want to get in and out as quickly as possible with minimum toddler-related drama and trying to remember everything on your list.

    At GoodtoKnow our ultimate pet hate is while you’re cruising for the space closest to the exit, you watch a childless parent return to their car parked in the Parent and Child parking bay. It’s enough to make even the calmest of shoppers come out in a rash.

    But do you know what the rules really are for designated parking areas in supermarkets? When is a child no longer a child and is the cut-off age the same for every supermarket? Do pregnant women count?


    Sainsbury’s have a clear idea of what they consider to be a child, youngsters must be below 12 years old to qualify for a child and parent parking bay.

    A spokesperson said; ‘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.’


    Only 6% of ASDA car parking space is dedicated to blue badge holders or parent and child parking – no wonder it feels like finding an empty space takes longer than the actual shop.

    ASDA agree with Sainsbury’s that the cut-off age for a child is 12 years old but the child must still be travelling in a booster seat so that attendants who monitor the car park can check the car. We’re not sure we know many teenagers in booster seats…

    An official said; ‘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 whilst loading their car with shopping.’


    Aldi is the supermarket working on an honour system and doesn’t have set guidelines for what constitutes and child and parent; ‘Although we don’t force strict regulations, the parent and child car parking spaces are honoured and appreciated by the large majority of our customers.’


    At the opposite end of the scale Tesco is the strictest with their policy and only considers toddlers and babies to be worthy of the child and parent parking bay.

    A spokesperson for the store said; ‘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.’

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