Car park prangs cost British motorists a staggering £1.5 billion every year, according to new research.

A study revealed 11 per cent, or 3.74 million, of drivers have seriously damaged their own car while looking for a space to park over the past 12 months. On average they have been left with a whopping £396 repair bill to fix their mishap.

The research by ŠKODA UK revealed 40 per cent of drivers have hit a lamppost, tree or space divider in a car park.

Four in ten of the 2,000 UK motorists polled also admitted they had accidentally hit another car with their door when they were getting out of their vehicle.

And over the past year the average driver has heard the painful sound of their wheels scraping against a kerb on two occasions – causing irritating scuffs and scratches on their alloys.

But despite the number of red-faced motorists admitting to errors, 73 per cent regard themselves as good parkers.

The survey also revealed the tension caused by parking – with 19 per cent confessing to having an argument with another motorist or bystander because of a parking disagreement. 14 per cent have even temporarily stopped talking to their other half after having an argument because of a parking issue.

For the rowing couples this has happened six times on average over the past 12 months, with the silent treatment typically lasting for six-and-a-half hours.

One in five parents also said they’re frequently distracted by their children when they’re trying to park.