after several horror stories of wild shopping carts and door- dinging
maniacs on the loose all over america, these parking policy tips were documented.
I hope these can be of use to somebody. I know some of them may be obvious
to some people, and I suppose many of you are doing all of these already.
1. If possible, park way out in the lot, preferably 8-10 spots from the next car. Look for other cars that are parked out there: they are probably regulars at the establishment and know where to park to keep their cars from getting messed up. Park at least that far out if you can.
2. Never, ever, take more than one spot. People will park beside you, ding you, key you, or worse just to "pay you back", no matter how far out you are or how few cars are around you.
3. If you're forced to park near other cars, park near four doors and not two doors. The four doors are much shorter, and have less of a chance of hitting the car. On the other hand, four doors have a more irregular shape than two door cars, and may be more likely to contact metal instead of body molding. Use your judgment here.
4. Take end spots, if available, and park as close to the end lines you can. That way you don't cheese anyone off, but you still get a nice buffer zone.
5. If you are forced to park on one side of a car or another, try to make sure that you park with your car near the passenger door, and not the drivers door. a large percentage of the cars in the lot are driver-only and the passengers doors won't be open.
6. again, if you have choice, park with your drivers door next to the car beside you. You have a better chance of seeing a ding that way and leaving some pleasant reminder on the car beside you that they should not be dinging your car.
7. Check out the car beside you for dings. If they don't care about their car, they won't care about yours. Park closer to the nicer car. Try to find another "car nut" car: nicely waxed, customizations, etc.
8. also, check for childrens toys or "old people stuff". Kids don't know any better, and it's sometimes difficult for older people to get into and out of their cars without opening the doors very wide.
9. Don't count on "nobody being able to squeeze into a small spot". Someone will try. also, don't create a small spot by parking too close to one line or the other, even if there are no cars there at that time. again, someone will try to squeeze in. Unless you are on an end spot, park right in the middle of the space.
10. Don't park under trees. all sorts of nasty stuff falls on your car, and sap is a real pain to get off.
11. Use a car cover - Kimberly Clark Evolution 4 material is a great product, used by Covercraft, Wolf, Coverking, and others. Its 4 layer thickness will help prevent the dings should an errant driver bump your car. Buy the custom fit cover, and get a cable and lock, too, so some miscreant doesn't swipe your cover.
12. Remember that carts roll downhill. Try to park where an errant rolling cart will not hit your car, on the top of a hill, if possible.
13. Once you've found that perfect spot, take a look around and see what might be backing out behind you. Motorhomes, jacked-up pickups and a rusted out LTD who'se rear bumper is tied on with a piece of rope should all be avoided.
14. Never park beside a car that is parked facing "downhill". The doors will fly open and bash yours as they get into / out of the car.
15. Be careful around grassy areas. You never know when
the sprinkler systems will turn on and douse your car. Worse yet,
lawn care people could come around and give your car a good coating of grass and / or rocks thrown from the lawn equipment.
16. Park near a light at night. It's easier to see what you're doing when getting into and out of the car, and likewise for others. also, it's less appealing to a thief if the car is in a lighted area.