As a driver, you take pride in your car. It’s an extension of your personality and your hard-earned money. You park it carefully with the hope that your vehicle will remain in the same condition when you return, but that is not always the case. Door dings are a common occurrence when you own a car, and unfortunately, they can happen anywhere. But the good news is that there are ways to help avoid them!

#1 Park Far from Crowded Areas

One of the easiest ways to avoid a door ding is by parking far away from the entrance of a busy parking lot. There will be fewer neighboring vehicles, reducing the chances of inconsiderate parking and hasty exits that could lead to door dings. Additionally, being farther from the business entrance means less pedestrian traffic, translating into fewer shopping carts around your vehicle. So yes, it might mean a few extra steps, but it’s worth it if it means saving your car’s exterior from damage.

#2 Opt for End Spots or Park Against a Wall

When you park in an end spot, your car is only exposed on one side, minimizing the amount of side-to-side encounters other drivers have with your vehicle. Similarly, parking against a wall provides a buffer on one side, which protects your car from other drivers. When you find one of these parking spots, park as close to the curb or wall as possible, providing enough space for the driver on the other side to comfortably open their door.

#3 Use Parking Lot Props to Your Advantage

There’s often a parking lot prop to help you avoid door dings. Parking lines, poles, and concrete pillars can be used as a buffer between your vehicle and those around you.

#4 Steer Clear of the Shopping Cart Return Area

While the shopping cart return area seems like a suitable place to park, it is a potential hotspot for door dings. During peak shopping hours or due to careless behavior, the cart return area may overflow, causing carts to spill out and potentially hit your vehicle. Therefore, it is wise to avoid parking near these areas. Instead, opt for a spot farther away from such zones.

#5 Be Mindful of the Type of Vehicles You Park Near

If you have been driving for a while, you’ll likely recognize the types of cars that are most likely to cause door dings. Although SUVs, vans, and trucks offer ample space for children, groceries, and cargo, they occupy more space in a parking spot, limiting room to open doors. With taller vehicles, the door dings may also occur at a higher position on your car, making them even more noticeable. A best practice is to avoid parking next to these vehicles when possible. Instead, look for parking spaces between smaller cars or with a narrower space on one side.

#6 Park Next to Well-Maintained Vehicles

Another strategy to avoid door dings is observing the condition of the cars near the spot where you intend to park. As a rule of thumb, if a car has many scratches or dents, it might imply the owner is not particularly cautious or concerned about the car’s appearance. They might be less careful when opening their doors, increasing the risk of them causing door dings to nearby vehicles. Always try to park near cars that are well-maintained and free of scratches or dents. The owners of these vehicles are more likely to take the same level of caution you do in avoiding door dings, thereby ensuring the safety of your vehicle’s exterior.

#7 Park Well Within the Lines & Straight

The way you park your vehicle in the chosen parking space is equally essential to avoiding door dings. Ensuring you’re well within the lines and parked straight not only respects the space of other drivers but significantly reduces the risk of door dings. When your vehicle oversteps the boundary or is parked at an angle, it leaves less room for neighboring cars. This increases the likelihood of them hitting your car while opening their doors or attempting to squeeze into the adjacent spot.

#8 Be Mindful of Your Own Door

When going in or out of your vehicle, ensure you’re not accidentally hitting adjacent cars. If a car is parked too close to yours, you may need to wait for the driver to return and move their vehicle. And if you’re carrying items, it’s even more vital to be mindful of your movements so you don’t graze nearby cars.

#9 Opt for Covered Parking Spots

Hailstorms can occur unexpectedly and inflict significant damage to your vehicle. Consider parking in covered parking areas whenever possible to prevent door dings and other forms of hail damage. While these spots may be a bit farther or might require a parking fee, the protection they provide against potential damage is a worthy trade-off. In the absence of covered parking, investing in a high-quality car cover can also offer some protection against the ravages of a hailstorm.

Preventing door dings is not complicated, but it requires you to be mindful and resourceful. By using the tips mentioned above, you’ll minimize the risk of door dings, dents, and scratches that come from parking lots. Not only will your car look better, but you’ll also save money on repairing damages you could have prevented.

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