DOUBLE DECKER: Some shoppers get a bit too competitive in the chase for a car parking space.
DOUBLE DECKER: Some shoppers get a bit too competitive in the chase for a car parking space. Max Fleet BUN151113RTC5

Avoid shopper frustrations that lead to the panelbeater

BINGLES in car parks are a frustrating hazard this time of year with an escalation in the number of gift and sales shoppers on the move.

Bumps, paint scrapes and full blown smash jobs cause many a bargain hunter to blow a temper gasket in the heat, so insurance expert Frank Costigan is urging motorists to take extra care in car parks and to extend courtesy to all other drivers.

"As shopping centre car parks across the nation become increasingly busy and congested with many making the year end dash to the store, it's likely there will be increased collisions as drivers look for that elusive parking space," he said.

"Car parks are notorious and research shows 14 per cent of all motor insurance claims occurred while cars were parked with an average cost of each claim over $2,000.

"Many drivers returning to their cars often find it damaged and the offender has not left contact details in a shocking one-third of all parked car claims.

"Unfamiliar car parks can be difficult to safely navigate and when combined with large numbers of stressed-out drivers looking for scarce available spaces it's a perfect scenario for increased numbers of collisions.

"Intense competition for space often means drivers try to squeeze into tight spots.

"People trying to get out of their car also often knock their door into other vehicles with many cars baring the trademark nick on the side.

"Worse still, manoeuvring in and out of a narrow space can result in a costly bingle."

Insurers have tips on how minimise the risk of damage to cars and avoid car park collisions.

Look at alternative ways of getting to the shops and do your shopping early or at less busy times.

Drive slowly, turn on headlights, observe all signs in car parks and respect reserved parking directions.

Be mindful of pillars or other obstructions, ensure there is sufficient space between cars and extend courtesy to all other drivers. 



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