You don’t have to be a car expert to know that street parking leaves your car vulnerable to people and the elements. You could end up with side-swiped doors, dinged bumpers, punctured tyres, or smashed headlights – or your vehicle could live undamaged for another day.
Although no one recommends street parking, it is almost unavoidable. The late 2000s saw a considerable increase in the Australian population, resulting in 150,000 more people each year. And as the population continues to soar, so does the number of cars. Since the country has the most expensive daily off-street parking in the world, it’s no wonder people want to look for ways to save. One solution for them is to park on the street.
If you’re parking your car on the street, make sure that you watch out for the following:
- Sun and Heat: The sun is one of your car’s enemies. As much as possible, park in a shaded area. Try to keep it out of direct sunlight exposure to avoid UV rays from damaging the car’s interiors, including leather, vinyl, or other materials.
- Falling Objects: Most people park under the tree, but it’s more dangerous than you might think. Even when the wind is not strong, branches or other debris can fall on your car, damaging it.
- Temperature Changes: The weather can be pleasant but can change in a blink of an eye. Parking under a cover is helpful, whether it’s rainy, windy, sunny, or even snowing.
- Hail: Many outside occurrences are out of your control. Hail and gusty storms, for instance, are not good for your car. Make sure you heed weather forecasts, especially if parking your vehicle on the street.
Let’s not forget that leaving your car outdoors attracts thieves and other people with bad intentions. Suppose your only option is to park outside. In that case, you can only do so much to prevent vandalism and burglary, especially those who smash and grab.
Tips to Keep Your Car Safe
The number one thing you should do is park your car in a garage. It offers plenty of benefits, including preserving your vehicle’s performance. Extreme cold and heat will contribute to the quick wear and tear of your car. Sudden temperature changes can affect the battery, brake, and tyres. Additionally, you have less to worry about when it comes to your car’s cosmetic appeal.
However, not everyone can park their car in their garage. If you’re among them, don’t stress. There are a few things that you can do to keep your car safe without hurting its interior and exterior features. Here are some of them:
1. Choose a Corner Spot
You surely do not want to be bookended by other vehicles. The trick is to park at the first or last spot, which also gives you the advantage of avoiding getting blocked. You also prevent other drivers from bumping into your car. It helps to know the rules, as some areas may not allow you to park at a corner spot.
2. Park in a Well-Lit Area at Night
You should park in a brightly lit street area. After all, bad things usually happen in the dark, especially concerning theft and vandalism.
3. Protect Your Car from the Elements
Go the extra mile in protecting your vehicle by using quality sun shade. This weatherproof cover is for your windscreen, such as the Window Sox Sun Shades, to protect the interiors from cracking, dulling in colour, and other issues.
Bugs seem to multiply at night, so make sure you use a bug screen to prevent them from attacking your car. A paint-friendly cover that’s water-resistant and breathable can protect your vehicle from the elements, especially in the middle of the day. Make sure it does not trap moisture, or else it will damage the paint.
4. Follow Protection with Regular Car Care
Your vehicle will not survive without proper maintenance. We highly recommend the following, especially if you often park your car on the street:
- Wash the car every two weeks, especially during the rainy season. Wash once a month on regular days.
- Use a metal conditioner or wax on the exterior of the car to lubricate and prevent corrosion.
- Use paper towels for spot treatment if you see bird poop or dead bugs. The key is to remove these things on your car’s surface immediately before they start eating away at the finish.
- Don’t hesitate to use a car cover to protect windows, particularly from hail damage or frost when the temperatures drop.
If possible, don’t leave any valuables in your car, whether you intend to leave them on the street the whole night or just for an hour. Even if items are of little value, some thieves may attempt to get them, which means you end up with a shattered window. The cost of repair is not worth it.
5. Avoid Trees
We’re going to reiterate this point as many fail to see how trees can be damaging to their vehicles. For most people, the biggest problem when parking outside is the sun. Therefore, they look for shaded areas where they can leave their cars. Usually, they pick a spot under a tree, which at first glance, is completely harmless. It’s not just a tiny drop of bird poop; you could have worse issues.
For one, tree saps are inherently acidic, which can damage car paint. Bird waste also has the same effect, so make sure that you clean it right away. On top of that, you have to worry about sudden temperature changes. If you expect wet, heavy snow or rain, beware of branches falling and breaking on your vehicle.
6. Invest in a Good Security System
You don’t need an expensive dash cam to help you in case of theft, vandalism, or even a crash. Aim for a 360 dash cam or a forward and reverse system so you can see both in front and behind you.
It does help if it comes with motion detection, which is incredibly useful when parking on the street. This parking protection functionality lets you see who (or what) may have bumped into your car. Most of the time, people leave the scene and act as if nothing happened. With a motion-detecting camera, you can instantly see what took place and report the event to the police.
7. Follow the Law
You cannot just leave your car anywhere you, please. Make sure you look for signs which give you an idea of whether parking is allowed. Some laws are the same wherever you may be in the country. For example, you must refrain from parking against the flow of traffic. It would be best if you never parked on a footpath so as not to cause obstruction. Parking on a median strip, roundabout, or traffic island is not permissible and may result in hefty fines.
Your car is a significant investment, so it is imperative to ensure it’s protected at all times. The tips above can help keep your car safe even when it is parked outside your home.