In our latest article, Hazards To Your Paint- What Not To Place On Your Vehicle, we discussed the importance of keeping things off your car to help protect it from scratches and dents. Most of the time, these “paint hazards” come from parking your car in the wrong area. To help protect your investment, I wanted to share with you some of my most avoided parking areas. Start thinking about where you park and take notice to why it could be dangerous!
Your car is a costly investment so let’s start taking care of it!
Where NOT To Park Your Vehicle
Tips To Parking It Safe
We use our cars every day. Constantly hopping in and out, parking here and there, and only noticing those annoying scratches and dents before it’s too late. Most of the time, we cannot avoid car hazards. For example, birds will continue to fly and poop on your vehicle no matter where you park. And trash companies will continue to pick up trash. So what is the point of this article then?
To teach you ways around these car hazards. While not all of them are avoidable, most of them are preventable.
So let’s get to that list of where NOT to park your vehicle.
1. Parking Lots
Every time you shop or go to the doctors, you have to park in the parking lot. These are dangerous! You cannot avoid them, but you can prevent dents, depending on where you park. Grocery stores are notorious for “flying carts“. People are too lazy to put their shopping carts away so once the wind picks up, SLAM! Right into your car door. Huge dent that WILL NOT come out easily.
Solution? Park away from everyone else. I know we are all lazy ourselves and want to park close to avoid walking more, but if you park near a cart, that cart will find its way into your vehicle. Parking further from everyone will also prevent car door dents from other cars! Win, win situation. Just park way down the road, get more steps in, and avoid shopping carts!
2. Under Trees
Before you park under a tree, remember one thing. BIRDS LIVE IN TREES! Bird poop is dangerous, as we’ve already discussed, so avoid parking under bird infested trees.
Solution? Look at your surrounds. If you notice bird poop in and around that spot, then park somewhere else. If it is the middle of winter, or you don’t notice any birds around, then you are probably safe. However, you also have to worry about tree sap. Sap is hard to spot (unless it is already on your vehicle) and even harder to get off your paint. My rule? Never park under any tree…
3. Under Bridges
Similar to parking under a tree, you have to pay attention when parking under a bridge. I know we like to think the shade will help protect my paint and interior from the sun, and while this is true, bridges could leak water and debris. Every time someone, or something, goes across that bridge, they could shake up the underneath gunk that could fall onto your vehicle. Dust, water spots, sticky stuff, dead animals… you never know what lives up there!
4. Playgrounds & Soccer Fields
Pretty much any place that has children and flying balls, I would avoid. This also includes schools, your neighbor’s house, or parks. Again, while you cannot avoid soccer balls or tennis balls flying into the side of your car, you can prevent it from happening by parking further down the street. I’ve had tennis ball dents and they are annoying. You also have to be careful with children riding bikes, playing tag, etc. Bikes slamming into your car does not make for a pretty paint job. Just be mindful is all!
5. Parking Garages
So the rule of thumb for parking garages = go to the top floor 😉 I am half joking, but I do always park on the top. Two reasons why.
- There are fewer people and things to ding my car
- It is usually cleaner up top
Now, this isn’t always true, and I can still get dings / dust / bird poop on my car. But I think my chances are pretty slim. Speaking of birds! If you are in a covered garage with rafters, then check above for bird poop or a bird nest. I accidentally parked my car under a birds nest and I think that is worse than getting pooped on!!
6. Trash Locations / Street Cleaning
This one is very obvious. Read your street signs and know when the cleaners or trash trucks come by. Make sure to stay clear of them! Do not even park on the opposite side, especially when they are cleaning the streets. The debris they pick up can fling onto your car. Also, when you are parking on the street, take notice to any wet spots. This could be some spill you do not want near your vehicle.
7. Near Intersections Or 4-Way Stops
Again, if this is your only spot available then park, but busy streets and intersections have a lot of accidents. You wouldn’t want to wake up one morning with another car smashed into yours! I don’t know what kind of insurance covers that…
So, what do you guys think? Are you going to start paying attention to where you park?! I know sometimes you are left with a horrible parking location, however, in most situations, you can park somewhere else. Take notice of your surroundings, look at other vehicles, check for animals, and keep your car safe 🙂
Where do you guys park? I would love to hear your thoughts!