I am currently living in Brooklyn NYC and I am one of the few burdened with having a car. Like most in NYC I really only drive my car once a week and that is to find a new parking spot because the city is doing street cleaning on that day and I will get a ticket if I don’t move. Last night though I actually had to drive somewhere, to MA. When I went to get in my car I realized that the person parked behind me and in front of me had given me 1 1/2 - 2 inches from there bumper to mine. Well today I am writing from MA, so needless to say I got out of the spot, just as needless to point out is I knocked both the cars several times. I am a dedicated car talk listener and I take the brothers grime’s advice seriously, so years back when they said buy pre-dinged cars I did. So I am not worried about my beauty. I am wondering what damage I could cause to the other cars (because I am sure people knock into mine all the time), is there a best case/ worst case scenario (like is it worse when the parking brake is on) ?, and what is the proper etiquette in this situation (like leaving a note that says (Dear Butthead, sorry about your bumper but let this be a lesson to you)?
If people are really parking only 1.5-2 inches from your bumper, I don’t think that you should spend any time worrying about what type of damage you might have done to their cars. If those people were really concerned about their cars, they would be more careful about how they park them.
That being said, much has to do with how hard you hit their bumpers. A light tap will likely do no harm other than further scarring those NYC battle-dinged bumpers. If you hit another car hard enough, it is possible that you could damage the “park pawl” mechanism that holds their car in place when it is parked. However, to worry about causing damage to the cars of inconsiderate people is just not something that I believe you should spend much time thinking about.
The proper “etiquette” in such cases is simply to extricate your car as gently as possible and then drive away.
City dwellers know the hazards of city parking. They are resigned to the frequent bumper taps of other parkers. Gentle taps cause no damage; that’s why cars have bumpers.
Folks who are overly concerned about cars touching cars make an effort to leave more room fore and aft. Others accept the situation without concern, and so should you.
If you ever rear end someone, or are responsible for damaging someone else’s car, be sure and tell the judge that the innocent party is “overly concerned” and see where that gets you.
And what if the OP was not parked in the middle of his spot? Then only one of the other cars was parked where it didn’t belong. Why should BOTH of the other cars suffer any damage?
Go gently and don’t worry about it. Bumpers are rated to take at least 2.5MPH impacts.
Cop didn’t see it, I didn’t do it!
Ok, etiquette people,
When you return form your trip and see that the buttheads have so gaciously saved you the very same spot,
do you bumpbumpbumpbumpbumpbump your way back in ?
I lived in Boston a while with a car and beaten bumpers. I would do the bump, bump to get into the tightest places with my little Rabbit GTI.
The best solution would be to sell the car and rent when you really needed one.
Cars don’t really have "bumpers’ anymore . . . they have plastic body parts which pretend to be bumpers but damage as easily as a door or any other body part. To the original question . . . sell the car and rent when you need a car. Rocketman