You’re walking through the parking lot when you see it — your perfectly manicured car tarnished with a dreaded door ding. It may not seem like a big deal at first, but your car could develop rust spots and other problems due to this damage. So, how do you avoid a parking lot door ding in the first place?
Preventing Door Dings
Parking on the far end of the lot, away from other cars and entry points, cuts down on the chances that you’ll discover a dent when you return to your vehicle. If you can’t find an isolated space, carefully park in the middle of your spot so there is maximum space on each side of your ride. If possible, pull in next to newer-looking cars as opposed to ones covered in dents, rust and dings.
You should also avoid parking near cart returns, as shoppers may leave carts outside of the corral so they are free to roll around. Pay close attention to the surrounding area when you get out of your car. Poles, barriers, snow piles and landscaping rocks are just a few hazards that can lead to self-inflicted dings.
Take Down Insurance Information for Later
If you see a person ding your car, ask for their name, telephone number and insurance information. If you go to your car and see a ding with paint matching the vehicle next to you but no one is around, wait for the person to return to get their details.
Take plenty of pictures of any damage, as well as of the offending vehicle and license plate. If the driver gets aggressive and refuses to give you his insurance information, the police can help you handle the situation. You most likely need to file a police report to make an insurance claim anyway. Once you complete the report, go through the claims process with the other driver’s company.
If your car is dinged and the vehicle and driver are long gone, look for a note. Sometimes, people can’t stay at the scene but provide contact and insurance information. Document everything you see with pictures, and call your insurance company and the police. Your comprehensive car insurance should cover this damage.
If your car was dinged and the offender just sped away, go into the store you’re parked outside of, ask for a manager, and ask to see any surveillance footage of the time you spent in the store. Almost all grocery and department stores have plenty of surveillance cameras around for this very reason, and most stores are more than happy to help. See if you can find how exactly your vehicle was damaged, then call the police if warranted.
What Should You Do If You Ding Someone’s Door?
Don’t drive away without leaving your information, as that could count as a criminal hit-and-run. If you can, wait for the other driver and explain the situation. Otherwise, write a note detailing what happened and provide your name, number and insurance details.
Door dings are an unfortunate part of automobile ownership, but these tips will help you minimize damages or avoid them altogether. If you do find your door dented by an unfortunate parking lot collision, call Prime Time PDR today to get your car back to pristine condition.