Fleets in the United Kingdom are being urged to teach their drivers how to park their vehicles properly after new research revealed bumper damage tops the list of the most common type of car damage, according to Fleet News, a UK-based fleet management magazine. Other minor damage in the top five most common are knocks on alloy wheels, chipped glass, dents in doors, and scratched boot (trunk) lids. The survey conducted by Arval PHH, which analyzed thousands of vehicles, has shown that parking accidents accounts for most of the damage with the average cost of repairing a minor bump at £200 ($300). Clive Forsythe, managing director of Arval PHH's business customer division, the group which completed the survey, said to Fleet News: “Three of this top five come from minor impacts caused by tight maneuvering, so it's clear that motorists need to brush up on their parking skills. Because the damage is not critical it often gets ignored. However, even negligible problems can grow into much more expensive ones if left unrepaired.” Wear and tear on vehicles can have a detrimental effect at disposal time and Forsythe says fleets need to be vigilant with drivers. Even fleets leasing vehicles can incur penalties at the end of the vehicle's contract if wear and tear damage is unacceptable. Forsythe said: 'When the time comes to sell vehicles, be they private or company cars, excessive minor damage will severely impact their second-hand value.' According to the Arval PHH survey as reported by Fleet News, the most common wear and tear was:

  • Damaged front bumpers: Maneuvering in tight spaces often leads to front bumper scuffs. Parking and three-point turns are the activities most likely to result in minor impacts on the bumpers.
  • Damage to alloy wheels: Wheels are damaged when drivers park too close to the curb.
  • Chipped and cracked glass: Many drivers do not repair windscreens when flying debris chips the glass. These chips then expand to cracks, which are more expensive to fix.
  • Dents in car doors: Many drivers end up too close to walls or other vehicles and cause damage when opening doors.
  • Scratched boot lids: Briefcases and bags that are rested on the boot lid or dragged along it will damage the surface.
  • Originally posted on Fleet Financials