How to Prevent Car Park Damage

It comes as no surprise, that car parks are one of the most common causes of vehicle scuffs and scrapes. According to a recent AA Study*, 47% of motorists asked have damaged their vehicles in car parks over the last 12 months which can lead to some heft pay-outs from councils and firms.

Car parks are often a driver’s worst nightmare, especially when it comes to facing impatient motorists, tight parking pays and hidden concrete pillars. Over 50% of these motorists continue to drive around with bodywork damage, but with the latest results from AA, indicating that poor bodywork is the top reason why buyers are put off purchasing a used car, this could all lead to more drivers taking action against car park owners.
Forecourt car protection


59% or bumps and scrapes happen at a supermarket, colliding with surrounding vehicles and objects. Many of these include trolleys and their shelters with one claimant stating that a “full trolley came tearing down the slope, hit my car and overturned, delivering some of its content into my open tailgate!” causing substantial damage to their car bodywork. Although these types of incidents are majoritively accidental, some could argue that it’s the store’s fault for not moving abandoned trolleys, resulting in having to pay out a large sum to compensate for the damage.

One way to prevent claimants from passing the blame onto stores is by installing CCTV cameras overlooking the car park. This way, not only are supermarkets covered when any incidents occur, but add an extra element of security too with video evidence.

Open-Air Car Park

Open-air car parks are often a favoured choice with drivers, due to their locality, accessibility and sometimes no height restrictions. However, 12% of bumps and dents occur within the perimeters of these car parks due to external entities, other drivers and natural hazards.

Colliding with anything, from a bollard to a lamp post, can result in costly damage to both the vehicle and object, even if it’s the smallest of impact bumps. One solution to this is by fixing bespoke Safety Pads around any exposed posts. Not only will this prevent major scuffs and scrapes, but can bring in extra revenue with exposed advertising opportunities.

Mother Nature can also often be an a contributor to open-air car park damage, with reports of trees falling due to adverse weather conditions, or ants eating away at roots, causing extensive damage to nearby vehicles. This can be solved by ensuring regular checks are carried out, especially after significant storms.

Automotive end use applications for safety pads
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Multi-Storey Car Park

Entering a multi-storey is normally a last resort when trying to find somewhere to park. Surprisingly, only 11% of car park scrapes happen in this kind of environment, but with tight spaces, concrete pillars and sharp turns, there are many hazards to be on the lookout for.

One reoccurring problem is that bays are getting smaller as cars are getting bigger. Angles are tighter, and with obstacles such as low walls and pillars, it’s making parking a more challenging task. The Department of Transport has recommended that for a perpendicular parking arrangement, the minimum size of bays should be 4.8m x 2.4m, reducing the risk of scratches and scrapes.

Obstacles that surround multi-storey spaces are also an imposing threat when it comes to damaging driver’s vehicles. Car doors topped the table of car park damage, with 50% after being opened onto other vehicles or inflicting pillars. Bumpers followed this, with one AA customer stating that they ‘misjudged the turn and wedged their Jaguar on top the low car park wall’.

One way to easily rectify these incidents is by installing Safety Pads around any exposed pillars, rails or posts. This will reduce the impact of any collision, protecting not only the vehicle in question, but the multi-storey infrastructure too.

To find out more about Safety Pads for car parks head to our Automotive page.

*AA Populus Study interviewed 29,568 AA members between the 17th & 23rd November 2015.


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