Every car owner fears picking up dings and damage - and it can seem like it's an unavoidable hazard. However, there are steps you can take to help prevent the threat of a new door ding, a kerbed alloy or a scuffed bumper after a trip to the shop, though. Here are our tips...
Lower kerbside mirror when parallel parking
It doesn't matter how good you are at parking, one day, you're bound to kerb a wheel if you parallel park on a regular basis.
That said, it's an issue that is easily avoidable with a simple little trick. If you're concerned about dinging your alloys, lower the kerbside mirror as you approach to see exactly where your rear wheel is, allowing you to position yourself close without causing damage.
Park in quieter areas of car parks
Car parks are a haven for attracting door dings and scuffs caused by other careless drivers, but they're an unavoidable hazard in most cases. If you don't mind walking a little further to your destination, try parking in quieter areas of a car park - in effect reducing the chances of a ding.
If busy, park as central as possible in a bay
That said, we've all been there before - it's a Saturday afternoon, you've forgotten to buy any food in for tea and the supermarket car park is full to the brim. There's no choice but to park in-between two cars, and you look over to see the one next to you covered in scuffs and dings, indicating the sign of an owner that isn't interested in keeping their car pristine.
Parking as central as possible in a bay creates an equal distance to cars either side of yours. It's not the ideal scenario, but it's better than laying over to one side of the bay and putting your pride and joy at risk of being knocked by someone in a rusty MPV.
Invest in alloy wheel protectors
Coming back to kerbing. If lowering your mirrors isn't enough to cull your fear of damaging your car's wheels, invest in some alloy wheel protectors. These low-cost covers are easily available and a doddle to apply - adding a protective layer over the rim to prevent the underlying metal being damaged. Think of them like a phone case, only for your alloys.
Open doors carefully
It may be easy to blame other people for dings and damage to your car, but it's just as possible you could cause them yourself, if you're not too careful. One culprit is careless door opening - slamming them into other cars or obstacles nearby.
Take an extra moment to gently open them, allowing for better control and not a sudden burst open that may fling them into something nearby. If it's windy outside, be careful too - a sudden gust of breeze can easily catch an open door and potentially cause it to hit an obstacle.
Fold mirrors in when parked
Wing mirrors are a part of a car that is one of the most susceptible to damage. A passing car could easily knock them while your vehicle is parked up, so it's always a good idea to take the extra seconds to fold road-side mirrors in once you've left your car. Better still, many modern cars come with self-folding mirrors - putting your mind at ease.