No matter where you park, you see that your car always gets dirty or damaged somehow if it is not on your driveway or garage. Pretty much anywhere you park in public is not going to leave your car the same, however, you can prevent some of these annoyances.
Parking lots, especially at a grocery or mall, are hectic because people pulling out sometimes do not check each side and end up hitting a car or vice versa, shopping carts rolling straight into cars, and birds that perch up on lights that rain down their poop right onto cars. Our advice is to park away from the spaces closest to the entrance of the mall or grocery store to minimize getting hit or hitting someone else, but you will also avoid where most of the carts are. The bird poop can be minimized if you don’t park under a light, but birds may just like your car specifically for target practice.
If you park near a playground, you know you are risking a ball denting the body of your car or smashing through your window. Even footballs and tennis balls can leave a decent dent on your car. So, what do you do? You can park a little more up the street to avoid these high velocity impacts. That is the most you can do for the most part unless you are sure the perimeter of the playground is gated or netted to avoid such things.
This one depends on where you live and which tree you park under. Here in California, we don’t experience much sap on our cars, but birds do rain down hell, as well as palm tree leaves falling off and crashing down on your hood. So, while your car is shaded, you are risking your paint and body. Again, some trees are safe to park under because they aren’t so high and do not seem to have a sap leak.
The multiple story parking garage is as dangerous as a normal parking lot for the collision aspect, but it is also the most reliable because you are protected by the elements. The higher you go, the better your car should be protected, making the highest level the best for you (unless it is opened-roof, then it is exposed to those damn birds). Plus, it’s fun to drive all the way up and down once you are done.
The safest place to park your vehicle is always going to be your home and in a garage. Most of the time when your car gets damaged or dirty in public, it is not going to be your fault. The main advice here is take the time to walk a little more to avoid damages to your vehicle. IF your car gets dirty (which is common), check out our blog on how often you should wash your vehicle.