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The Official Car Rental Blog
19 April, 2014 - Peta Daniels Peta Daniels

Be Smart... Watch Where You Park!

Parking Danger Zones

There's nothing worse than returning to your parked car to find a dent, scratch or something more severe that has 'miraculously' appeared during your absence.

While you may have more options when it comes to your personal vehicle with respect to how you are going to fix the issue, things are quite different if your mode of transport is a rental vehicle.

If you have forgone the option to reduce your excess, you may find that you will be liable to pay up to the full excess amount for damage caused to your hire vehicle. Whilst it may not be your fault, you are still in a position of being required to pay.

While you can't avoid certain accidents, you can try to eliminate some of the potential dangers.

If you are in the market for some food for thought, then check out our following top tips for how to choose safer parking locations or spots for your rental vehicle.

Shopping Centres
Shopping centres are notorious hot spots for both major and minor dents and scratches. With plenty of cars, people, shopping trolleys, prams, and lots more obstacles in place, the risks increase. Keep these in mind when deciding the best place to leave your car.
  • Try to avoid parking too close to trolley bays.

  • Happy enough to walk a little further? Try parking on the outskirts and in the less active areas. Reduces the risk of those nasty dents that appear because of car doors of neighbouring vehicles.

  • If you do need to park near other cars, then take note of the vehicles within your surroundings. Does the car in front of you have a hatch or a boot? If the person in front of you was to access their boot, would there be an issue or potential damage to your car?

  • Don't forget to watch out for the concrete wheel stops that sit low on the ground in front of many carpark locations to assist drivers with judging their parking. All too often, smaller vehicles can scrape these barriers and it may cause damage to the front undercarriage. Just keep this in mind and try to avoid parking too close.

Street Parking
While you may think freedom reigns when parking on the street, take care to be vigilant of your surroundings. Here are some examples of aspects you should consider before choosing the best place to park.

  • Don't park directly across from a driveway or main access point. If you are parking in a residential area, consider the room available for the person reversing from their driveway. While you are not obstructing their ability to access their driveway, you may find that lack of attention on their part may result in them not judging the distance between their turning circle and your parked vehicle.

  • Avoid parking under trees, especially during storm season. Of course there are certain trees that won't pose too much danger to your vehicle, but the larger ones may drop a nasty branch that will cause you big inconvenience within the dollar department.

  • Take care to consider access for services such as, rubbish bin collection. Sometimes, people may park too close to bins positioned on the kerbside and that can pose a problem for garbage trucks.

  • Keep a lookout for bus stops and try not to park too close which may result in difficulties for bus drivers to easily manoeuvre their vehicle for safe passenger entry and exit.

Residential Parking
Planning on visiting friends or family? Minor accidents can also happen around the home so be careful when parking within the confines of someone's property.

Before getting in and driving off, make sure you check behind your vehicle if you need to reverse and take note of things like how close you are to fences or posts. It is quite easy to have a mishap when you are not familiar with your surroundings.

Before You Leave Your Car
Another great tip to remember is to always ensure your handbrake is on before leaving your parked car. No one wants to return to find their car parked in an awkward position that screams out someone forgot to put the handbrake on!

Top Tip Reduce Your Excess
You can also add peace of mind to your travels by ensuring you look into your options for reducing your excess. At Car Rental Buddy, we provide our customers with the ability to purchase a great (and affordable) excess reduction package through our partner, AXA Insurance. Don't forget to consider this great insurance package if you choose to book through Car Rental Buddy.

Keep the above tips in mind and we hope you have a positive car hire experience.