How to Avoid Bumper and Car Damage When Parking in New York City Parking Garages

Tips to prevent car damage and bumper damage to your vehicle when parking in New York City parking garages

New York Parking Garage Car Damage

Taking proper precautions when leaving your car parked in a New York City parking garage will save drivers from a lot of hassle, as well as wasted time and money. Every parking garage attendant in New York City tries to pack as many cars as possible into their parking garage because the more cars, the more money earned for their business. Because of this, it’s common for attendants to take poor care of vehicles, returning them to owners with scratches, dents, bumper damage and other damages.
According to the NYC Dept Of Consumer Affairs the top 5 types of damage that NYC parking lots have done to vehicles are: 

1.Scratched, dented or broken bumpers
2.Scratched or dented driver or passenger doors
3.Scratched or broken side mirrors 
4.Dented side (Front or rear) panels 
5.Scraped rims 

Below is a list of steps to follow to prevent car damage and bumper damage and what to do if damage to your vehicle is discovered:

Drive A Vehicle Suitable For New York City

Don’t bring your nice, shiny new car into New York City. If you happen to have an older vehicle or one that already has some bumper damage, drive that. It goes without saying that whatever condition your car may be in, no one wants more bumper damage, but especially not to a prized possession. It’s also a great idea to purchase bumper protectors to strap on to the front and rear bumpers to prevent car damage.

How To Select A Parking Garage In New York City

Avoid pulling into parking garages in NYC with narrow entrances, because space is most likely tight inside and the parking attendant will have a harder time fitting your car in, which means more possibility for bumper damage against concrete walls and other cars. Avoid parking garages that are near capacity for the same reason. If there are cars parked along the entrance ramp, then chances are it is near capacity. Using common sense when choosing a parking garage in New York City based on these conditions can go a long way. There is often a sign in the parking garage that says that the parking garage is not responsible for any damage to vehicles – If any damage to your car or bumper is caused by an employee of the parking lot, then they are legally liable, no sign can remove their liablity for their actions nor can you give up your rights just because there is a sign stipulating the fact.

Inspect Your Car When Checking It In

When you pull in to a New York City parking garage, be sure to walk around the car with the attendant and point out any existing bumper or car damage. Before you leave, have the attendant agree with you on where (if any) bumper damage is already located. Take note of the parking attendant’s name if possible so you know who parked the car.

Assess For Bumper Damage and Door Damage Upon Your Return

Upon return to the NYC parking garage to retrieve your vehicle, it’s important to not leave immediately without examining your car. If you leave without pointing out any new bumper damage, nothing can be done if you return to complain. Carefully inspect and take note of any bumper damage. If there is car damage, immediately show it to the parking garage attendant and ask to speak to a manager. Car damage claim forms should be available to fill out onsite.

What To Do When A Parking Garage Damages Your Vehicle

Be sure to write down the exact phone number and address of the parking garage on the claim form, as well as the date, time, description of the car damage, and any other relevant information. It also doesn’t hurt to take down the names of the parking attendant and manager of the location to report to the corporate office. Take pictures of the bumper damage if you have a camera or camera phone. Taking photos of the attendant is highly effective, but inflammatory.

Paying For The Car Damage

Insurance may cover the car or bumper damage. You may be able to make a claim on your insurance but there’s usually a sizable deductible. You may be able to sue the parking garage for the out of pocket expenses at the small claims court. New York City parking garages will usually have the bumper damage fixed if it’s clearly their fault. If the parking garage staff gives you a really hard time, file a police report. If the damage is minimal, good luck. Chances are you won’t have an easy time winning the battle. To submit a complaint to New York City about a private parking garage or lot, call 311 for New York City government assistance.